THE Department of Agriculture (DA) has put a ban on the importation of domesticated and wild birds, including poultry meat, eggs and other products, from California and Ohio, United of States due to several outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).
In a statement on Wednesday, January 17, 2024, DA Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. said there is a need for a wider coverage of the trade restriction following the rapid spread of the HPAI H5N1 strain in the two states.
The US veterinary services reported the outbreak to the World Organization for Animal Health in November.
“Given the geographical land mass of the USA, the Philippines agreed to impose a state-wide ban only when at least three or more counties in an affected state in the US report an HPAI outbreak,” said Laurel.
“Other states from the US are excluded in the DA temporary restriction and can still import poultry and poultry products to the Philippines,” he added.
Laurel also ordered the suspension of the processing, evaluation of application, and issuance of the Sanitary Phytosanitary Import Clearance (SPSIC) of said commodities including meat, eggs, day-old chicks and semen.
He said such products covered by the ban coming from California and Ohio that are already in transit, loaded or accepted at Philippine ports before January 15 shall be allowed entry, provided that they were produced or the birds were slaughtered 14 days before the first outbreak.
“Poultry and poultry products imported to the country from the states of California and Ohio after November 14, 2023 and November 21, 2023 respectively, shall be seized and destroyed by the DA, or returned to the country of origin,” said Laurel.
In 2023, the country imported 66,356 metric tons worth $175,783,193 of poultry meat from the United States.
The US is the second biggest poultry meat supplier of the country, which is roughly 40 percent of total poultry meat arrivals. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)