Government bans animal imports from Zimbabwe

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The Department of Agriculture (DA) has temporarily suspended the importation of animals from Zimbabwe that are susceptible to foot-and-mouth (FMD) disease.

In Memorandum Order 18, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala ordered the temporary ban on the importation of FMD-susceptible animal products and by-products from Zimbabwe, following an outbreak of the disease as reported by the Office International des Epizooties (OIE).

Dr. Unesu hidah Ushewokunze-Obatolu of the Division of Livestock and Veterinary Services Ministry of Agriculture of Zimbabwe said that there was a confirmed clinical case of FMD in the Province of Masvingo, District of Chiredzi, Mkwasine, Zimbabwe.

The clinical manifestation suggestive of FMD was noted to have affected a herd of cattle on self-contained farm close to a wildlife conservancy with wild buffaloes, the official said.

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“The FMD virus serotype, which have not yet been identified, is believed to have been sourced from the wild,” he added.

In line with the discovery of the disease, Alcala has ordered the ban to prevent the entry of FMD-susceptible animals, products and by-products originating from Zimbabwe to protect the health of the local livestock population.

“We need to prevent the entry of FMD and maintain the freedom of the Philippines from this disease,” Alcala said.

He also ordered the Bureau of Animal Industry to immediately suspend the processing, evaluation of the application and the issuance of veterinary quarantine clearance to import the said animal products from the African country.

Shipments of FMD-susceptible animals and by-products will also be stopped and confiscated in all major ports nationwide, Alcala said.

The Philippines was one of the few countries that were certified FMD-free without vaccination by the OIE or World Organization for Animal Health.

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