The Department of Agriculture (DA) has lifted a temporary ban on importation of poultry and other poultry products from India after confirmation by global animal health authorities declaring the country free from bird flu virus.
In line with the completion of appropriate surveillance, containment and eradication of the disease, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala ordered the immediate lifting of the ban on the importation of domestic and wild birds and their products—including poultry meat, day old chicks, eggs and semen—originating from India.
“Based on our evaluation, the risk of contamination from importing poultry and such products from all territories is negligible,” Alcala said.
In an earlier report submitted to the Office International des Epizooties (OIE), Ashok Kumar Angurana, secretary of India’s Ministry of Agriculture, said the highly pathogenic avian influenzan (HPAI) event in the country has been resolved.
“In compliance with the terrestrial animal health code of OIE, India is now free from HPAI,” Angurana said after the stamping out of all infected and exposed birds in affected provinces.
Alcala, however, said all import transactions of products should be in accordance with existing rules and regulations of the Bureau of Animal Industry and the National Meat Inspection Service.
The Agriculture department is regularly monitoring advisories from OIE to protect local bird population from threats of avian influenza, as well as to ensure safety of consumers.
The Philippines remains the only country in Southeast Asia free from highly pathogenic avian influenza or bird flu.
Avian influenza is a highly contagious viral disease affecting several species of food producing birds(chickens, turkeys, quails, guinea fowl, etc.) as well as pet birds and wild birds.
In its notifiable form, the disease can be divided into two categories–the high and low pathogenecity.
HPAI virus spreads rapidly, may cause serious disease and results in high mortality rates (up to 100 percent within 48 hours).
The low pathogenic avian influenza can cause mild disease that may be undetected or show no symptoms at all in some species of birds.