The Department of Agriculture (DA) has temporarily stopped importation of poultry and other poultry products from Iowa and North Dakota because of avian influenza outbreak in the two American states.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala ordered the ban on the importation of domestic and wild birds, including poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and semen to protect the local poultry population and human health.
Dr. John Clifford, deputy administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture, reported the avian flu outbreak to the Office of International des Epizooties (OIE).
Avian influenza is a highly contagious viral disease affecting several species of food- producing birds as well as pet birds and wild birds.
Earlier, DA Undersecretary for Livestock Jose Reaño said a total importation ban of chicken and wild bird products from mainland United States is being considered as avian influenza continues to spread like wildfire in major poultry-producing territories.
At present, there are 13 bird flu-affected states–Arkansas, California, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin.
Manila imports about 10 percent or over 45 million kilos of chicken (leg quarters) and more than 110 million kilos of mechanically deboned meat from US suppliers annually.
The Philippines is also importing about 150,000-200,000 heads of US-grown breeders, which account for 50 percent of total layers in the country.