February 15, 2010

Philippines bans imports of pork, poultry from South Korea, Taiwan


The Philippine government has banned pork, poultry and live chicken from South Korea and Taiwan over the weekend.

Davinio P. Catbagan, director of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), said the ban was due to reports of outbreaks of foot-and-mouth-disease (FMD) as well as low pathogenic avian influenza or bird flu from those countries.

He said the ban on pork, poultry products and live birds from South Korea was issued last January 5, while the one on poultry and live birds from Taiwan was issued January 26.

South Korea on January 30 reported its sixth FMD case in a cattle farm north of Seoul.

The same country reported last Jan. 26 that tests conducted in December last year confirmed that about 26,000 ducks in a farm in Seosan City were infected with the H5 strain of bird flu.

Meanwhile Taiwan reported on Jan. 21 that 7,000 chickens in a farm in Changhua County, Taiwan died of the virus.

Last year, the Philippines imported 114.36 million kilograms of pork, 7.6% of which came from South Korea. But the Philippines does not import poultry or poultry products from either South Korea or Taiwan.

Data from the BAI show that the local livestock sector lost about PHP2.3 billion (US$49.48 million)to FMD between 1995-2005. The country has not had any reported case of the disease since then.

The Philippines has a pending application with the World Organization for Animal Health for "FMD-free without vaccination" status for Luzon -- the remaining part of the country without such certification.

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