Poultry smuggled in from China is increasing the risk of bird flu spreading to the Philippines, according to an industry executive.
The Philippines, one of the few Asian nations still free of bird flu, has had bans on poultry imports from many Asian countries, including China, since the first outbreaks in 2003.
“We’re not supposed to import anything from China because it’s infected with avian flu,” said Gregorio San Diego, president of the United Broilers Association of the Philippines. “But imported poultry products from China, mainly that of Peking duck, are openly sold in restaurants and retail stores, so we are at risk.”
According to San Diego, the influx of chicken imports, in addition to smuggled poultry products, has also cut demand for local chicken because of significant price differences.