CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) has lifted the ban on the transport of poultry from Luzon to other parts of the country with government agencies set to implement conditions to ensure that the birds are not carriers of the bird-flu virus.

The lifting came after reports from its bio-security experts that the Avian Influenza cases in San Luis, Pampanga and in San Isidro and Jaen towns in Nueva Ecija have been contained in a seven-kilometer radius, according to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol.

“I signed an Administrative Circular which allowed among others the shipment of dressed chicken, fresh table eggs, cooked duck eggs (balut), day-old chicks, game fowls and others provided these are covered by veterinary certificates issued after tests are conducted by bio-security personnel,” Pinol said.

However, the shipment of fowls and poultry products coming from inside the 7-kilometer radius of San Luis, Pampanga and the towns of Jaen and San Isidro in Nueva Ecija will not be allowed consistent with earlier quarantine restrictions.

Pinol said that Dr. Enrico Garzon, assistant secretary for livestock and acting director of the Bureau of Animal Industry, and Dr. Arlene Vytiaco “reported that cleaning up operations in San Luis town have been completed while the culling operations in Nueva Ecija are almost complete.”

The DA said that all shipments must be covered by health certificates and quarantine clearances and Quarantine Stations in all airports and ports of the country are directed not to allow passage to poultry and poultry products without the necessary clearances.

“With strict quarantine procedures implemented in the 1-kilometer and 7-kilometer radius of the areas affected, the AI Task Force said the problem has been contained in the three towns,” Pinol added.

The National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) is set to inspect all market areas for poultry products to make sure that these follow the conditions of the ban lifting and that all products are bird flu free.

The DA is urging all shippers, distributors and sellers to take note of the requirements to avoid confusion.

The move is seen to somehow stabilize the disrupted supply chains of the poultry industry.