June 11, 2015


OIE retains FMD and bird-flu free status for Philippines



The Philippines said it has maintained its status of being bird flu-free and foot and mouth disease-free -- without vaccination--granted by the Paris-based Office International des Epizooties (OIE), or World Organization for Animal Health.


Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said during a forum last week that the country has been declared bird-flu free for five years now, adding that this has been the Philippines' best advantage in enabling the country to export globally competitive chicken and Peking ducks grown in Tarlac and Bukidnon provinces to Asian countries including Japan and South Korea.


Alcala also said his department is eyeing the export of hogs and pork products to Japan which, according to him, is experiencing shortage in swine supply.


Earlier during the 21st OIE Sub-Commission Meeting for FMD in Southeast Asia and China in March held in Manila, Alcala said the Philippines has maintained an FMD-free status--without vaccination--through progressive zoning approach, stressing that the DA "has always been on strict watch" against the possible return of FMD. 


FMD is a highly contagious transboundary animal disease that poses serious threats to the livestock production, food security and livelihoods of farmers globally. The presence of FMD restricts market access as a country's FMD-free status is an international trade requirement.


FMD has yet to be totally eradicated in neighboring China and the majority of Southeast Asian countries. Governments target an FMD-free world by 2020.

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