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DA lifts ban on Belgium, France poultry

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The Department of Agriculture (DA) said over the weekend it lifted the temporary ban on the importation of domestic and wild birds from Belgium and France after both countries were cleared by the World Animal Health Organization of Animal Health as bird flu-free.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. issued on April 11, 2024 two separate memorandum orders to lift the ban on products like poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and semen.

The DA received reports that there were no additional bird flu outbreaks in Belgium since Feb. 21, 2024 and in France since Feb. 24, 2024.

Belgium and France announced outbreaks of the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 strain, prompting the DA to issue the import bans to protect the multi-billion-peso poultry industry and ensure food safety.

The lifting of the ban in the two European countries followed similar actions by the DA on American poultry.

The DA recalled import restrictions on the states of Iowa and Minnesota in March 2024, but it maintained the poultry ban on the states of California and Ohio.

Iowa and Minnesota poultry were refused entry starting 2023 due to AI outbreak in the two US states.

The US continues to be a major source of poultry products for the Philippines with total exports of poultry meat and products reaching $180.5 million in 2023.

Meanwhile, the DA recently declared the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and Benguet free of bird flu in early 2024.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) continues to monitor the remaining eight provinces afflicted with AI including Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Laguna, Kalinga, Cagayan and Bataan.


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