Bird flu triggers ban on some Dutch poultry imports

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THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said it renewed a ban on poultry-related products from Groningen in the Netherlands due to a bird flu outbreak there, reimposing a ban initially implemented in early February.

In an order signed March 1 by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, the ban was reissued after the Netherlands confirmed an H5N6 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak there.

The February ban was based on an initial report filed by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Chief Veterinary Officer Christianne Bruschke to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on Dec. 10.

Ms. Bruschke again reported to the OIE in late February that HPAI continued to be found in the area.

The DA ban bars the entry of both domestic and wild birds as well as its by products such as poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and semen.

Likewise, all processing and evaluation of applications and the issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary clearances have been suspended.

Shipments will also be confiscated upon entry by the department’s Veterinary Quarantine Officers.

“However, frozen poultry meat with slaughter [or] process date of 21 days prior to the HPAI outbreaks are allowed to enter the country subject to veterinary quarantine rules and regulations,” the DA said. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato