The Bureau of Customs (BoC) has banned the entry of all imported poultry products from four countries because of the outbreak of avian influenza or “bird flu” in Asia and Europe.
Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon issued a total ban after it received a report from the Department of Agriculture prohibiting the importation of poultry products from South Korea, Germany, France and the Netherlands.
“We alerted all our intelligence units in all our ports throughout the country to be on the look out for poultry products, like chicken, ducks, eggs and other byproducts, coming from said countries where there is an outbreak of the avian influenza,” Faeldon’s spokesman Neil Anthony Estrella told The Manila Times.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) also ordered the immediate suspension of the processing, evaluation of application and issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance for the said commodities.
Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol clarified that the Philippines will continue to accept poultry products from the United States, Canada and Australia.
“These three countries are exempted from the ban, mainly because they never had reported cases of Avian Flu or poultry diseases and also because they have always implemented stringent quarantine measures,” Piñol said.
Avian influenza is highly contagious among birds and other animals but usually does not infect humans. WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL