September 5, 2017


Philippines eases transport restriction on poultry products from bird flu-hit areas


The Philippines has lifted the ban on the transport of poultry and poultry products from areas within the seven-kilometer controlled zones in two provinces that had been hit by avian influenza.


The Southeast Asian country confirmed in mid-August its first bird flu outbreak in at least 10 years, and its agriculture department ordered the culling of around 200,000 birds in the affected major egg-producing province of Pampanga on Luzon island. The virus later spread to neighbouring province of Nueva Ecija.


According to a news report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Department of Agriculture issued a new memorandum circular that in effect put poultry operators and owners within the controlled zones back to business on condition that all products must be validated by the department's quarantine officers and must carry all needed certifications.


The disinfection operations and the 21-day incubation of the affected areas had been completed, according to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol.


"The only restriction is on ground zero or those located in the one-kilometer radius because we have a 90-day waiting period," he was quoted as saying.


The Bureau of Animal Industry will also be deploying sentinel birds to the affected farms to determine whether the virus is still present in the area.


If the test shows negative results, with no signs of the flu in the sentinel birds, quarantine restrictions in the affected areas will also be lifted after 90 days.


It's only then that the areas can be declared bird flu-free.

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