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Call to Stop Smuggling to Keep Bird Flu Out

by 5m Editor
29 November 2010, at 8:43a.m.

PHILIPPINES - An urgent call has been made to stop illegal imports of poultry meat in order to keep diseases out of the country.

Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines (AGAP) party-list Rep. Nicanor Briones has called on the Bureau of Customs to stop the alleged rampant smuggling of frozen poultry products since it is a potential carrier of the bird flu virus.

Philippines Star reports that Mr Briones made the call amid the reported influx of frozen Peking duck in the market.

He said Chinese restaurants in the country have abundant supply of the imported and smuggled Peking duck in their display.

He said: "This imported poultry product could be dangerous to the health of the public, because of the threat of bird flu virus."

Mr Briones expressed fears over the possibility that bird flu virus could enter the country through smuggling, which could bring down the 150-billion-peso (PHP) poultry industry.

The lawmaker also appealed to Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and BOC Commissioner, Angelito Alvarez, to prioritise and solve the problem of smuggling of agricultural products.

The AGAP representative said the backyard hog and poultry raisers are now losing PHP850 per hog because of the implementation of a policy to limit the farm gate price at PHP82 per kilo, compared to the cost of production which has now reached as much as PHP92.

Philippines Star reports that, since August, the backyard hog and poultry raisers in the country have been losing an estimated amount of PHP3.4 billion, prompting the affected sector to appeal to President Aquino to immediately a find solution to the problem, according to Mr Briones.

Further Reading

- You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.