April 28, 2009


Philippines ban pork, hog imports from Canada



The Philippines on Tuesday (April 28) banned imports of hogs and pork products from Canada, widening the coverage of precautionary measures taken to protect the country against the latest outbreak of influenza from the livestock industry.


The Philippines earlier banned the import of hogs and pork products from the US and Mexico, where most of the swine influenza infections and deaths have been reported.


"We're only comfortable ordering a suspension of imports from those three countries (the US, Mexico and Canada), but we're evaluating constantly," Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap told reporters at a briefing. "We may add to that list."


Yap said that while the latest reports from experts suggest the virulent influenza isn't  really pure swine influenza but a combination of various flu strains, including human and avian, the Philippines is still imposing the import ban.


"It is the better side of prudence that we impose the import ban on countries with afflicted persons," he said.


Aside from the three countries affected by the ban, swine flu cases have been reported in Spain and New Zealand. Australia and several other countries are also testing possible cases.


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