The Department of Agriculture (DA) has temporarily suspended the importation of poultry and other poultry products from the United Kingdom where an avian influenza outbreak has been reported.
In Memorandum Order 38-15, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala ordered the temporary ban on the importation of domestic and wild birds–including poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and semen–originating from Lancashire in England to protect the Philippines’ local poultry population, as well as human health.
Based on the report of Dr. Nigel Gibbens, chief veterinary officer of the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the outbreak was discovered in poultry holdings affecting free-range and house-laying hens in Goosnargh, Lancashire.
The highly pathogenic avian influenza serotype H7N7 was classified as serotype H5 and H7.
Avian influenza (AI) 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—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 show no symptoms at all in some species of birds.
In line with the ban, Alcala ordered immediate suspension of processing and evaluation of application and issuance of veterinary quarantine clearance on importation of poultry products from England.
He mandated the DA’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 European country.