MANILA — The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday said a temporary ban is in force on the importation of poultry meat products, domestic and wild birds including day old chicks, eggs and semen originating from Chiayi County in Taipei.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the temporary ban was to protect the health of the local livestock population and food safety in the country from the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).
He said the ban took effect in the third week of January this year after Chinese Taipei’s Agriculture Technology Research Institute reported to the Office of International des Epizooties (OIE) that there had been an outbreak of HPAI serotype H5N8 virus in a geese-breeding farm in Da-Lin Township of the county.
“We have been taking all the necessary measures to protect our borders against avian diseases which could impend over our country’s growing poultry industry,” Alcala said.
Under the ban, the Agriculture chief has ordered the implementation of specific emergency measures, such as the immediate suspension of the processing, evaluation of application and issuance of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Import Clearance to import poultry meat and similar products from the said county.
Likewise, all shipments of such products, except heat-treated, were ordered stopped and confiscated.
Alcala also said that the importation of poultry and meat products is subject to the conditions provided in the applicable articles of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code, 2014.
The OIE is an inter-governmental organization that, among others, has functions of informing governments of the occurrence of animal diseases and of ways to control these diseases, of coordinating studies devoted to the surveillance and control of animal diseases and of harmonizing regulations to facilitate trade in animals and animal products
The OIE Animal Health Information Department said that the H5 HPAI virus is among the notifiable OIE-listed terrestrial animal diseases, infections and infestations in force in 2014.