The Department of Agriculture decided to impose a temporary and limited ban on poultry imports from the Netherlands instead of a blanket prohibition, an industry source said over the weekend.
The source said the DA agreed to limit the scope of the import restriction over the serious implications to the local meat processing industry.
A total ban will curtail the operations of some the biggest local meat processors, as the Netherlands is the biggest poultry supplier to the Philippines, the source said.
It could also result in tight supply of processed meat products in the market and a possible price increase, the source said.
The DA was supposed to issue a memorandum order enforcing a full ban on Dutch poultry imports, including poultry, eggs, poultry manure and used bedding and other animal products from poultry farms, after Dutch authorities announced the culling of 35,700 broiler chickens following an outbreak of a highly contagious strain of bird flu at a poultry farm in the eastern village of Altforst.
Dutch authorities also said that strict monitoring was being enforced in all areas affected by Avian influenza in nine other poultry farms within a three-kilometer radius of the affected farm while a transport ban was imposed within a 10-kilometer zone.
The Philippines earlier banned poultry imports from Brazil, the second largest suppliers, because of the reported presence of COVID-19 particles on some Brazilian poultry exports to China and the US.
The government said it was willing to review the temporary ban on poultry imports from Brazil after the latter threatened to bring the issue to the World Trade Organization.
Officials of the National Meat Inspection Service said in a recent Zoom meeting with domestic stakeholders that Brazil would be allowed to resume trade with the Philippines pending the submission of two documents that would prove that Brazilian poultry are safe to consume and are free from contaminants and viruses.
The DA, in search for other sources of poultry, is set to launch a trade mission to Poland to check if foreign meat establishments from the European country would pass the Philippines’ stringent sanitary and phytosanitary requirements.
The DA also agreed to review the import allocation of Indian buffalo meat as requested by a stakeholder group.