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Government bans all bird, poultry imports from Togo

by 5m Editor
6 July 2007, at 2:40pm

PHILIPPINES - The Department of Agriculture (DA) has temporarily banned imports of domestic and wild birds along with poultry and its products from Togo, following official reports on the presence of the avian influenza (AI) or bird flu virus in the western African country.

The ban stemmed from a June 22 report by the government of Togo to the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) or World Animal Health Organization confirming the outbreak of a highly pathogenic strain of the AI virus in a poultry farm in its Laos district.

Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said the ban is meant to protect human health and the poultry industry in the Philippines, which has remained free of bird flu ever since the H5N1 strain of this virus reemerged in Asia in 2003.

The Philippines, Singapore and Brunei are the only bird flu-free countries in Southeast Asia.

"There is a possibility that travelers may bring in pet birds, poultry and poultry products from Togo," Yap said.

Thus, he said he has ordered DA quarantine officers and inspectors in all major airports and seaports to stop and confiscate all shipments of live birds, poultry and poultry products into the country originating from Togo.

Yap said the ban covers all "domestic and wild birds and their products, including day-old chicks, eggs and semen from Togo."

In his directive, the DA chief also ordered the immediate suspension of the issuance of Veterinary Quarantine Clearances (VQCs) to all imports covering these products from Togo.

Source: Bayanihan

5m Editor