The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has imposed a temporary ban on the importation of wild birds, poultry and poultry products from South Africa at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in a bid to prevent the possible entry of low pathogenic avian (LPA) flu in the country.
Customs Arrival Operations Division head Edgardo Macabeo said that the BOC is strictly monitoring passengers bringing in banned poultry products, which include day old chicks, eggs and semen from the said country.
Macabeo said that the office of District III collector Carlos So has been coordinating with the Agriculture and Quarantine Office at the airport to immediately suspend the processing and issuance of veterinary quarantine clearance for such products.
“This is only a precautionary measure,” Macabeo said.
He explained that the directive which was issued by the Department of Agriculture on July 8 was meant to protect the local poultry population and consumers following the reported outbreak of LPA influenza in the African continent.
Reports revealed that the Office Internationale Epizooties confirmed the outbreak after the LPA serotype H7N7 was detected in a commercial ostrich farm in Oudshoorn, Western Cape province.
Medical experts revealed that avian influenza is classified as high pathogenic and low pathogenic. LPA influenza causes mild diseases in poultry while the high pathogenic variety causes severe illness and high mortality in poultry.
Macabeo also said that passengers bringing poultry products to the country without permit or clearance from the quarantine would immediately face confiscation of their products.