Meat & Livestock News

Philippines Responds to Bird Flu Threat with Import Ban on US Poultry

The Philippine Department of Agriculture has taken a decisive step in response to the avian influenza outbreak. It has temporarily suspended the import of poultry products from two US states, California and Ohio. This measure is a direct reaction to the concerns over the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) affecting these regions.

This import ban is comprehensive, encompassing a variety of poultry-derived products. It includes meats, eggs, and other items from both domestic and wild birds. The goal is to prevent the spread of the bird flu virus into the Philippines.

There is, however, an exception to this rule. Poultry products that were already en route to the Philippines and reached the ports before January 15 are exempt from this ban. The critical requirement for these products is that they must have been processed at least 14 days before the initial outbreak was reported.

For poultry products shipped from California and Ohio after November 14 and 21, 2023, respectively, the policy is more stringent. These items will be subject to strict controls, including potential seizure, destruction, or return to the United States.

This ban is significant in the context of the Philippines’ poultry import statistics. In 2023, the country imported 166,356 tonnes of poultry products, valued at $175.8 million. The United States is a major supplier, accounting for 40% of these imports, making it the second-largest source of poultry meat for the Philippines.

Earlier measures similar to this were also taken by the Philippines. On January 9, the country imposed comparable restrictions on poultry imports from Belgium and France, also due to the threat of avian influenza.

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