The Department of Agriculture (DA) has temporarily suspended the importation of poultry and other poultry products from Taiwan because of reported avian influenza outbreak.
In Memorandum Order 35, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala Jr. ordered the temporary ban on the importation of domestic and wild birds—including poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and semen—originating from Taiwan to protect the Philippines’ local poultry population, as well as human health.
Based on the report, Dr. Ping-Cheng Yang, the director of Animal Technology Institute of Taiwan, said that the agency discovered a sub-clinical infection of low pathogenic avian influenza in a meat-type duck farm Yuli, Hua-Lien. The low pathogenic avian influenza serotype H5N3 was classified as serotype H5 and H7.
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.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus spreads rapidly, may cause serious disease and result in high mortality rates (up to 100 percent within 48 hours). The low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) can causes mild disease that may be undetected or no symptoms at all in some species of birds.
In line with the ban, Alcala ordered the immediate suspension of the processing and evaluation of the application and issuance of veterinary quarantine clearance on the importation of poultry products from Taiwan.
The official also mandated the agriculture department’s veterinary quarantine officers or inspectors in all major ports to halt and confiscate all shipments of poultry and poultry products (with the exception of heat treated products) from the neighboring country.