DA bans live poultry, products from Belgium, France

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

January 9, 2024, 5:24 pm

<p><em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has banned the importation of poultry and other poultry products, including wild birds, from Belgium and France.

This was after the two European nations reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) their respective outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in domestic birds.

France submitted a report about its bird flu outbreak on Nov. 30, 2023 while Belgium submitted its report on Dec. 1, 2023.

“We’re doing this to protect the health of our local poultry population as well as poultry workers and consumers since H5N1 is a virus that can be transmitted to humans by infected animals,” Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu-Laurel Jr. said in a news release on Tuesday.

The import bans, which start on Jan. 8, 2024, will also prevent traders from bringing in Belgian and French poultry meat, day-old chicks, hatching eggs, and poultry semen into the Philippines.

These bans will continue unless revoked by the DA.

Meat imports already in transit, loaded or accepted before the ban imposition will still be allowed to enter the country if the poultry were slaughtered or the products were produced on or before Nov. 12, 2023 in the case of France, and Nov. 16, 2023 for Belgium.

All imports after the specified dates will not be considered upon arrival in the country, except for heat-treated products.

The DA said the country’s total importation of poultry meat increased by 1.57 percent in 2022 compared to 2021, with 411,070 metric tons valued at USD468,455,990.

Belgium accounts for 2.60 percent of the overall arrivals while no importation was recorded from France.

It added that the country’s importation of poultry meat in 2023 reached 426,620 metric tons valued at USD418,130,353 -- a 3.78 percent increase compared to 2022.

France and Belgium account for 0.01 percent and 0.59 percent respectively of the total imports. (PNA)