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Philippines to resume poultry exports to Japan

by 5m Editor
24 May 2006, at 12:00am

PHILIPPINES - The Philippines will resume exporting poultry products to Japan next month after the lifting of a near one-year ban triggered by fears of an outbreak of deadly bird flu in the southeast Asian country.

Philippines to resume poultry exports to Japan - PHILIPPINES - The Philippines will resume exporting poultry products to Japan next month after the lifting of a near one-year ban triggered by fears of an outbreak of deadly bird flu in the southeast Asian country.

"The Japanese government has lifted the ban," Philippine Agriculture Secretary Domingo Panganiban told reporters. "Shipments will begin on June 7." The Philippines voluntarily halted exports of poultry products to Japan in July after initially fearing the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu had killed ducks at a small farm in the north.

Tests later showed that the birds died from a much weaker flu infection but Tokyo maintained the poultry ban. The Philippines has remained free of the bird flu virus, which has killed 124 people in 10 countries since it re-emerged in Asia in 2003.

The World Health Organisation said this week that limited human-to-human transmission of bird flu might have occurred in an Indonesian family, raising fears of a possible pandemic. But the WHO cautioned there was no evidence that the virus has mutated to allow it to pass easily among people.

BIG BUYER

Manila is not a big poultry exporter but Japan, one of Asia's biggest buyers, started buying directly from the Philippines in 2004 after outbreaks of bird flu in major poultry exporting countries. The Philippines exported 5,000-6,000 tonnes of poultry to Japan from 2004 till July 8 last year when the Philippines halted shipments.

Manila, a net importer of poultry, previously sold a minimal volume of poultry products to Japan through third-party exporters. Some of the country's top poultry firms include San Miguel Corp. , Southeast Asia's largest food and beverage firm, Swift Foods Inc. , Universal Robina Corp. and Vitarich Corp.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

5m Editor