DA imposes temporary ban on poultry from Utrecht

Posted on August 31, 2012

THE AGRICULTURE department has issued a temporary ban on the importation of poultry products from the capital of the Netherlands due to an outbreak of avian flu reported in the country.

Memorandum Order No. 20, dated Aug. 15 and released to reporters yesterday, imposes a ban on the entry of entry of domestic and wild birds, poultry meat, day old chicks, eggs and semen from Utrecht, Netherlands to protect the Philippines’ local poultry population.

"LPAI (low pathogenic avian influenza) serotype H7N7 was detected in a free range laying hens in Hagenstein, Utrecht, Netherlands last Aug. 9, 2012," the memo noted.

The outbreak was confirmed by the country in an official report submitted to the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) or the World Organization for Animal Health.

Following the said ban, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala has ordered the immediate suspension of the processing, evaluation of the application as well as the issuance of veterinary quarantine clearance on the importation of all poultry products from the Netherlands.

The Agriculture chief has also mandated that the department’s veterinary quarantine officers or inspectors in all major ports to halt and confiscate all shipments of poultry and poultry products from the country.

The memo however said that heat-treated poultry products and by products are exempt from the ban. "Heat treated products are acceptable following the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code," it noted.

However, the memo stated that the concerned importer must be able to provide documentation detailing the temperature and duration of heating or pasteurization of the poultry products and ensure that raw materials do not commingle with any other materials of animal origin. -- Bettina Faye V. Roc