The Philippines has imposed a temporary import ban on poultry from California, Hungary and Japan due to outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).
In imposing the temporary ban, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said it was necessary to prevent HPAI virus entry to protect the health of the local poultry population.
The import ban applies to domestic and wild birds and their products, including poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and seeds.
Prosecutors also ordered the immediate suspension of processing, evaluation of the application and issue of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) import clearance for the goods from California, Hungary and Japan.
In Memorandum Order (MO) 69, prosecutors said the Office of Food Safety and Consumer Affairs of Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) on November 1 that there were outbreaks of the HPAI virus in Japan There have been Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture and Atsuma City, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan infesting domestic birds, as confirmed by the Livestock Hygiene Service Centre.
“All shipments from Japan in transit/loaded/received prior to the official notification of this order to the Japanese authorities are acceptable provided the products were slaughtered/produced on or before October 12, 2022,” it said in MO 69 .
In MO 70, the prosecution said a report by the Department of Food Chain Safety of the Ministry of Agriculture in Budapest, Hungary to the WOAH dated November 4th shows that there were outbreaks of HPAI virus in Kiskunmajsa and Bugac, Bacs-Kiskun, Hungary, the Domestic birds affected as confirmed by the National Food Chain Safety Office Veterinary Diagnostics Directorate.
“All shipments from Hungary in transit/loaded/received prior to the official notification of this order to the Hungarian authorities are allowed provided the products were slaughtered/produced on or before October 19, 2022,” MO 70 added added .
In MO 71, based on the official report submitted to WOAH in August 2022 by the Deputy Administrator and Chief Veterinary Officer, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, United States Department of Agriculture, prosecutors said there were continued outbreaks of HPAI in California affecting native birds, as confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa.
“All shipments from the designated areas of the United States of America that are transported/loaded/received through the port prior to the official notification of this order to the American authorities are acceptable provided the products are slaughtered/produced on or before August 4th , 2022,” read MO 71.
The memorandum states that the rapid spread of the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza in the United States in a short time since its first laboratory detection requires broader coverage of trade restrictions to prevent HPAI virus entry and protect the health of local people poultry population.
Meanwhile, the DA lifted its temporary import ban on poultry products from Nova Scotia, Canada and Poland after those areas regained their HPAI-free status.
In two separate memoranda, prosecutors said, based on the final reports submitted to WOAH by their respective veterinary authorities, the HPAI events in Poland and Nova Scotia, Canada, are now “closed and resolved.”
The DA estimates that the risk of contamination from importing poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and semen is negligible.
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