UAE lifts ban on Philippine fowl

Posted on June 27, 2013

THE UNITED Arab Emirates (UAE) environment bureau lifted a ban on fowl importation from the Philippines last week, helping jumpstart the latter country’s bid to supply chickens and chicken products to the Gulf state.

THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES has lifted the ban on fowl importation from the Philippines. -- BW File Photo
The UAE Ministry of Environment and Water declared on June 18 that it allowed the "importation of all kind of live birds, meats, products, hatching eggs, chicks of one-day [age] from the Republic of Philippines" in Administrative Resolution No. 104 of 2013.

The Gulf state had banned such trade from Asian countries in 2011 amid the avian flu pandemic.

The new resolution is a response to Philippine agriculture officials’ application to lift the said ban, as well as the UAE ministry’s "interest in achieving its strategic goals… in achieving food security" for its country.

Department of Agriculture (DA) Assistant Secretary for Livestock Dave P. Catbagan said in a telephone interview that when the agency tried to offer export to the UAE, there was surprise that the Philippines was listed among the UAE’s banned countries for import sourcing.

"I don’t even know when and why they imposed such ban on us when, in fact, we are free from avian influenza, and we even export to Asian countries like Japan," Mr. Catbagan said.

Chicken export to the UAE, however, is in the works as representative technicians from the Gulf state will arrive here on Sunday to check on Philippine facilities and country-specific accreditation for Halal capacity, DA Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said in an interview.

Halal foods are those prepared and allowed for consumption under Islamic dietary guidelines.

"There is also a big demand for eggs. It will also be a part of the Halal capacity accreditation so it can also be up for export," Mr. Alcala said in Tagalog.

The possible volume for export depends on the market.

"Tinitingnan namin ang quality ng mga chicken doon, e; di naman tayo dehado kasi ’yung mga chicken doon, galing Brazil at US, e ang tagal ng frozen noon, so advantageous ang ating supply (We are looking at the quality of chicken there. We are not at a disadvantage because the chickens there are from Brazil and the US and are frozen for a long time, so our supply is advantageous)," Mr. Alcala noted. -- K. T. de Villa