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No ban on fowl exports — Lopez

The Philippine Star
No ban on fowl exports â Lopez

"I don’t think so,” Lopez told The STAR when asked about the possibility of some countries banning poultry exports from the Philippines because of the recent bird flu incident. File

MANILA, Philippines - Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez is ruling out the possibility of countries banning imports of poultry products from the Philippines following the government’s confirmation of an avian flu outbreak in Pampanga last week.

I don’t think so,” Lopez told The STAR when asked about the possibility of some countries banning poultry exports from the Philippines because of the recent bird flu incident.

Lopez said big companies exporting their products like Magnolia and Bounty Fresh are not affected.

He said these companies are undertaking “precautionary measures” which may only lead to a delay in their shipments.

The trade chief, however, said no ban has been issued so far to the Philippines, even from Japan where the country exports most of its chicken products like yakitori and prepared chicken.

Lopez lauded the Department of Agriculture’s efforts which he said was able to act fast to isolate and contain the situation.

The Department of Trade and Industry, for its part, continues to monitor supply and price situation of chicken in the market.

Trade Undersecretary Teodoro Pascua said prices of chicken products appeared to have declined since the announcement of the outbreak was made.

He said no changes in prices of fish, pork or beef, however, have been registered based on the agency’s monitoring.

The agency is being urged to watch out for profiteers who might take advantage of the situation and increase the prices of raw chicken meat and processed food in the market.

For consumer group Laban Konsyumer Inc., an urgent matter now is to divert supply from other sources coming from outside Luzon.

“Get the big boys like San Miguel, Bounty, and other independents to ensure disruptions of supply from backyard farms are replenished. Supply stability is the key now,” Laban Konsyumer president Victorio Dimagiba said.

The Department of Agriculture intends to cull 400,000 chickens, quail and ducks after confirming the country’s first outbreak of bird flu in San Luis, Pampanga last Friday.

The Philippines for the longest time has been one of the few countries in Southeast Asia that remains free of avian influenza.

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