Gov’t bans poultry from Mexico due to bird flu outbreak

Posted on July 20, 2012

THE AGRICULTURE department has imposed ban on the import of poultry products and by-products from Mexico due to a reported outbreak of bird flu there.

Memorandum Order No. 14, dated July 3, shows the ban covers inbound shipments of domestic and wild birds, as well as poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and semen from Mexico in order to protect local poultry as well as human health.

“[Based] on the official report submitted to the Office International des Epizooties (OIE, or the World Organization for Animal Health.)... there was an outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in Mexico,� the memo read.

The department said that avian flu with serotype H7 was detected by Mexico’s Agricultural service in three commercial farms in that country.

Following the report, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala ordered the immediate suspension of the processing, evaluation of the application and issuance of veterinary quarantine clearance for the importation of poultry and related products from Mexico.

Mr. Alcala also tasked the department’s veterinary quarantine officers or inspectors in all major ports nationwide to block and confiscate all shipments of poultry and poultry products from the Central American country.

OIE’s Web site says avian flu is a contagious viral disease affecting food-producing birds such as chickens, turkeys, and quails, as well as wild and domesticated birds.

“Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus spreads rapidly, may cause serious disease and result in high mortality rates (up to 100% within 48 hours),� said the organization.

OIE noted that there has been no reported case of avian flu in the Philippines thus far. -- BFVR