PH temporarily bans bird imports, poultry products from Netherlands

MANILA — The Department of Agriculture (DA) is imposing a temporary ban on importation of domestic and wild birds from Grootegast, Groningen in the Netherlands due to an outbreak of virus-driven H5N6 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in that place.

The ban also covers such domestic and wild birds’ products, including poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs, and semen, DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol

said in Memorandum Order 7 dated March 1, 2018.

“There’s need to prevent entry of HPAI virus to protect the health of the local poultry population,” he said.

Piñol has already suspended the processing and evaluation of applications for and the issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances covering the temporarily banned commodities.

DA veterinary quarantine officers and inspectors in all major Philippine ports must stop and confiscate all inbound shipments of the banned

commodities, except heat-treated products, the DA chief stressed.

Piñol said he had issued Memorandum Order 7 based on the official report Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs chief veterinary officer Dr.

Christianne Bruschke submitted last month to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

The report cited an outbreak of H5N6 HPAI in Olderkerk in Grootegast, Groningen, affecting birds.

“Frozen poultry meat with slaughter/process date of 21 days prior to the HPAI outbreak are allowed to enter the country subject to

veterinary quarantine rules and regulations,” Piñol, however, clarified.

Such exception applies to accredited establishments or poultry products already in transit upon issuance of the ban, he said.

He added importing poultry meat products is subject to conditions provided in Article 10.4.20 and 10.4.26 of the OIE Terrestrial Animal

Health Code, 2017. (PNA)