Philippines bans poultry from Italy
Manila has temporarily banned farmed and wild birds and other poultry from Lombardy, Italy, after outbreaks of low pathogenic avian influenza in the area.
Agriculture Secretary Bernie Fonde-villa said low pathogenic influenza (serotype H7N3) was detected in two holdings - a dealer with 200 heads of poultry and another with 3,000 layers in the province of Bergamo.
"The ban was put in place because travellers may bring in birds and its products from the affected area," Bernie said in his memorandum order, where he also underscored the need to prevent the entry of the disease to protect the domestic poultry industry, although Italy is not a major source of imported poultry products for the Philippines.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has promised to confiscate and seize all shipments of poultry and poultry products from Italy that importers may attempt to bring into the Philippines.
The Philippines has remained free of any type of bird flu ever since the H5N1 strain of this virus struck back in Asia six years ago. Of all the countries in Southeast Asia, only the Philippines, Brunei and Singapore have remained bird flu-free.