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PHL lifts ban on poultry products from 3 European countries

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The Philippines has lifted the temporary import ban it slapped on poultry products from Denmark, Spain, and Czech Republic.

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar signed and issued three memorandum orders (MOs) that formalized the reopening of the Philippines’s borders to poultry products from the three European countries.

In the MOs, Dar said the three European countries are now free from the highly pathogenic avian influenza in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 10.4 of the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) Terrestrial Animal Health Code.

Dar said the risk of contracting bird flu from importing poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and even semen from the three European countries is now negligible.

“All import transactions of the above bird species shall be in accordance with existing rules and regulations of the DA [Department of Agriculture],” Dar said in Memorandum Orders (MO) 45, 46 and 47.

The three MOs were signed last June 24 and were made public recently. The MOs took effect also on June 24.

“All orders, rules and regulations or parts thereof which are inconsistent with the provisions of this order are hereby repealed or amended accordingly,” Dar said.

Imports of poultry products from Czech Republic and Denmark have been temporarily banned since last year while imports from Spain were banned since January this year.

European countries grappled with a wave of bird flu outbreaks last year prompting importing countries like the Philippines to impose a temporary import ban to protect their respective local poultry population from the animal disease.

However, the import bans on European countries left the local meat processing industry scrambling for sources of mechanically deboned meat (MDM) of poultry, a key raw material in manufacturing various products like hot dogs. (Related story: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2021/05/25/less-than-45-days-will-hotdogs-soon-be-hard-to-find/)

The tight MDM poultry supply forced local meat processors to increase the prices of their processed meat products as raw materials from other countries, such as Brazil and the United States became more expensive.  (Related story: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2021/05/31/meat-processors-set-list-price-hikes-hot-dogs-to-cost-more/)

Manufacturers such as San Miguel Food and Beverage Inc. CDO Foodsphere Inc. and Frabelle Corp. all hiked their hot dog prices last year due to more expensive raw materials.

The country’s chicken MDM imports from January to May rose by 14.68 percent year-on-year to 82,354.645 metric tons (MT), with bulk of which or about 51,439.876 MT came from Brazil, the latest Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) data showed.

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