The Philippine government has imposed a temporary ban on the importation of domestic and wild birds and their products, such as poultry meat, from Emilia-Romagna, Italy.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala issued Memorandum Order (MO) 20, authorizing the implementation of the ban after an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed in Ferrara, Portomaggiore, Emilia-Romagna in Italy.
Dr. Romano Marabelli, chief veterinary officer, secretary-general of the Ministry of Health in Rome, Italy, reported the outbreak to the Office Internationale des Epizooties. It was confirmed by the Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute.
According to the report, the outbreak of HPAI serotype H7N7, which started on April 24, affected commercial poultry farms (consisting of layer hens) in the province.
“There is a need to prevent the entry of HPAI virus to protect the health of the public and the local poultry population,” the MO read.
With the ban in place, domestic and wild birds, and their products, including poultry meat, day old chicks, eggs and semen, from Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, are not allowed to enter the country.
The application, processing and issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance for the stated commodities are also suspended.
Alcala warned that all shipments of poultry products from Emilia-Romagna, Italy, into the country will be stopped and confiscated.
However, frozen poultry meat with a slaughter or process date of 21 days prior to the HPAI outbreak will be allowed to enter the country, provided that it follows veterinary quarantine rules and regulations.
The Philippines is one of the few Southeast Asian countries that remains free from the avian flu virus.
Alcala earlier said the government is implementing importation bans of poultry from countries affected by the disease to protect the local industry.