From Bird Flu-affected areas: Capitol extends ban on poultry

CEBU, Philippines —  The entry of live poultry and wild birds from areas affected by the avian influenza into the Cebu Province will continue to be banned until a new directive is issued by the provincial government.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia issued on May 23, Executive Order No. 14 imposing an indefinite ban on the entry of live birds (poultry and non-poultry) from Luzon, Mindanao and countries with bird flu cases. The ban includes “day-old chicks, day-old pullets, ready-to-lay pullets, ducks, quails, game fowls, pigeons and pet birds.”

According to the EO, the Province of Cebu continues to be free from Avian Influenza virus and the recent AI outbreaks from provinces of Luzon and Mindanao pose an imminent threat to the 12 billion poultry industry of Cebu.

The EO, which took effect yesterday, is extension of the previous EO the governor issued last April. Under the said order, transportation of live birds from Visayas are allowed to enter Cebu provided that the shipper or trader will present veterinary health certificate from the Provincial Veterinarian; veterinary / shipping permit by the Bureau of Animal Industry or Deputized Veterinary Quarantine Officers; ELISA/ HI/ RT-PCR negative laboratory test result on avian influenza; certificate of AI-free status from the Provincial Veterinarian certifying that no avian influenza outbreak that has occurred in the source farm in the past seven days and Local Transport Permit issued by the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources for wild and domestic birds.

For game fowls, the negative laboratory test result on Avian Influenza should be valid for six months from the date of last sample collection. For day old chicks, the result should be valid 28 days from the date last sample collection and seven days validity for ready-to-lay pullets.

As to the poultry meat products, like domestic poultry meat and imported poultry meat, these are allowed to enter Cebu province as long as requirements like the meat inspection certificate from National Meat Inspection Service and Veterinary shipping permit are complied with.

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Processed poultry and canned poultry products are also allowed provided that a license to operate and a certificate of product registration issued by the Food and Drug Administration are presented.

The transportation and movement of table eggs, salted eggs, quail eggs and hatching eggs and embryonated eggs are allowed subject to requirements like veterinary health certificate, veterinary shipping permit and RT-PCR negative test on avian influenza from the sourced flock.

 “Hatching eggs shall be put in plastic trays and containers for easier cleaning and disinfection” the EO states.

Imported poultry from countries with no cases of bird flu are allowed provided that these requirements are presented -- SPS import clearance, landing permit, notice of quarantine and veterinary shipping permit--upon inspection by authorities.

The arrival of these imported birds and poultry should also be coordinated with the Cebu Provincial Veterinarian. As to the poultry by-products, the transportation, shipment and movement of dung, manure, and feather are allowed to enter Cebu.

Garcia, in her EO, called on the different agencies – Philippine Coat Guard, Cebu Port Authority, Mactan Cebu International Airport, airline operators and shipping lines-- to facilitate the transshipment of live birds.

The barangay animal health aides are also directed to help monitor and provide assistance to their local government units for its preparation and response plan against avian influenza. — FPL (FREEMAN)

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