DA imposes temporary meat import ban from Greece, Romania
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - April 20, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has issued a temporary ban on the importation of domestic and wild birds and pigs and their products from Romania and Greece following an outbreak of an avian virus and African swine fever in the two countries.

In two separate memorandum orders issued by the Office of the Secretary, DA has instituted the ban on importation of domestic and wild birds, including poultry meat, day old chicks, eggs, and semen from Romania.

The importation of domestic and wild pigs, including pork meat, pig skin and semen from Greece, was also banned.

Based on the official report submitted to the World Organization for Animal Health, there was an outbreak of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus in Seini, Maramures in Romania that affects birds.

There was also an outbreak of the ASF in Serres, Kentriki Makenodia in Greece affecting backyard swines.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar issued an immediate suspension of the processing, evaluation of the application and issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) import clearance to the said commodities.

Dar said there would be a stoppage and confiscation of all shipments of the commodities into the Philippines by all DA veterinary quarantine officers at all major ports of entry.

The memorandum order was issued to prevent the entry of HPAI and ASF virus to protect the health of the public and the local poultry and hog population and is set to take effect immediately.

Under the Revised Administrative Code, the DA has the power to issue a general order preventing the entry of animals, animal effects, parts or products from any country with dangerous communicable animal disease.

Apart from Romania, the DA has already instituted a ban for poultry imports from Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany and Saudi Arabia, among others.

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