February 11, 2020
Philippines resumes pork imports from Czech Republic after suspending poultry imports
The Philippines has lifted its ban on hog and pork imports from the Czech Republic after the Central European country was declared free of African swine fever.
The resumption of pork imports came after it imposed a temporary ban on poultry products from the same country due to an outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8.
"Based on the evaluation of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), the risk of contamination from importing domestic and wild pigs and their products from Czech Republic is negligible," read the memorandum order issued by the Department of Agriculture (DA) lifting the ban on pork and pork-related imports.
The order noted that the Czech Republic had reported its recovery from ASF to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), with ASF cases affecting wild boars within its borders already "closed and resolved."
Aside from the Czech Republic, the Southeast Asian country, meanwhile, also imposed a temporary ban on poultry imports from Ukraine after confirmed outbreaks of avian influenza in the latter's poultry farms recently.
The ban on poultry imports from Ukraine, the DA said, is a precautionary measure to protect the local poultry industry against avian influenza, also called bird flu.
Protecting local poultry
"There is a need to prevent the entry of HPAI (highly pathogenic avian influenza) virus to protect the health of the local poultry population," the DA said.
The Philippines was free of bird flu until 2017, when the government detected the presence of the virus in poultry farms in Central Luzon.
But the DA said on Tuesday, Feb. 4, that the country was free of the H5N1 type of bird flu that broke out in China on Feb. 1, as per a report by the Manila Bulletin.
Due to the China outbreak, the Philippine Bureau of Customs placed all poultry meat products coming in from China on status alert.
Earlier, the DA suspended the import of poultry meat and poultry-related products from Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland, which reported outbreaks of the H5N8 strain of bird flu in recent weeks.