BAI lifts temporary domestic ban on transport of poultry

BAI Director Ronnie D. Domingo

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) has lifted the temporary ban on the local transport of live domestic poultry and poultry products after the Philippines regained its bird flu-free status.

BAI Director Ronnie D. Domingo issued on January 19 Memorandum Circular (MC) 03 that formalized the lifting of the temporary ban.

In the circular, Domingo explained that the movement restriction of live birds, poultry products from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao without a negative avian influenza (AI) test has been in effect as a control measure against the transboundary animal disease.

Domingo added that the government’s ongoing surveillance activities of highly pathogenic AI (HPAI) within and outside quarantine and surveillance areas have yielded negative bird flu test results and no new outbreak has been reported.

“Taking into account the foregoing and in the interest of service, the temporary ban on the local movement of live domestic poultry and their products including pigeon racing, flying, training and breeding and other related activities as provided in BAI Memorandum Circulars 02 and 38 Series 2020 is hereby lifted,” he said in the MC.

However, Domingo said all shipments of the above-mentioned products are still subject to the requirements provided under the Department of Agriculture Administrative Order 5 Series of 2019.

The Philippines on January 13 formally notified the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) that it has resolved the AI outbreaks it recorded in Pampanga and Rizal last year.

Based on its report to the OIE on January 13, the Philippines said San Luis, Pampanga and Taytay, Rizal are now free from bird flu.

“The event is resolved. No more reports will be submitted,” the Philippine report, prepared and submitted by Domingo, who is also the country’s chief veterinary officer, read.

The DA confirmed last year the resurgence of the fatal H5N6 HPAI at a layer farm in San Luis, Pampanga—the hot zone of the Central Luzon bird flu outbreak where over 200,000 birds were culled in 2017.

The dreaded bird flu struck an egg farm where government veterinarians had humanely culled 38,701 heads, according to the DA.

The DA said initial field investigation showed the presence of migratory birds in San Luis, Pampanga.

Migratory birds have been associated with bird flu outbreaks in many countries, including the Philippines, DA added.

The bird flu outbreak in Barangay San Carlos, San Luis, Pampanga was the second bird flu outbreak last year following the confirmed outbreak in Jaen, Nueva Ecija.

The third bird flu outbreak, confirmed by the Philippines last year was in backyard farms in Taytay, Rizal, affected a few hundreds of muscovy ducks and native chickens.

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