Japan live poultry banned in the Philippines
Manila has temporarily banned imports of live birds
and poultry from Japan due to alarm over bird flu epidemic.
According to Agriculture Secretary, Arthur Yap, the ban was necessary to
protect human health and the poultry industry in the Philippines, which has
remained free of bird flu ever since the H5N1
virus strain re-emerged in Asia in 2003.
The ban was based on a report submitted by the Japanese government to World Organisation for Animal
(OIE), attesting to the presence of a highly pathogenic strain of the
bird flu virus in Japan.
"There is a possibility that travellers may bring in pet birds, poultry and
poultry products from Japan," Yap said. "Thus, I have ordered Department of Agriculture
quarantine officers and inspectors at all major airports and seaports to stop
and confiscate all shipments of poultry and poultry products into the country
originating from Japan."
Yap said the ban covers all domestic and wild birds and their products,
including day-old chicks, eggs and semen from Japan. The Philippines, Singapore
and Brunei are the only bird flu-free countries in Southeast Asia.
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