THE Department of Agriculture (DA) has issued a temporary ban on domestic and wild poultry from the US state of Iowa after the detection there of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) or bird flu.
Memorandum Order No. 73 suspends imports of domestic and wild birds, poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs, and semen from the US state.
Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr. said that the US Department of Agriculture submitted a report with the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) confirming outbreaks of H5N1 HPAI.
“The rapid spread of (bird flu in the US) in the short period of time since its first laboratory detection necessitates a wider coverage of trade restrictions to prevent the entry of HPAI virus and protect the health of the local poultry population,” the DA said.
Mr. Laurel added that the DA will immediately suspend any application and issuance of Sanitary and Phytosanitary import clearances covering products from the state.
“All shipments coming from the mentioned areas of the (US) that are in transit/loaded/accepted unto port before the official communication of this order to the American authorities shall be allowed provided the products were slaughtered/produced 14 days before the first outbreak in the particular locality,” it said.
The DA in November banned poultry imports from the states of Minnesota and South Dakota after similar outbreaks of HPAI were reported.
In 2016, the Philippines and US veterinary authorities agreed that a statewide ban can be imposed if three or more counties are affected by the virus.
“The (state has) three or more counties affected with HPAI as reflected in their official reports in the WOAH,” the DA said.
The US shipped 130.5 million kilograms of chicken meat to the Philippines, 94,657 kilos of duck, 211,648 kilos of turkey in the first 10 months, according to the Bureau of Animal Industry. — Adrian H. Halili