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Philippine government bans German poultry

As a result of an outbreak of low pathogenic avian influenza, the government of the Philippines has temporarily banned imports of live birds and poultry products from Germany, as well as fromt the village of Saint Aubin du Plain in France.

The directive said the ban covers domestic and wild birds, poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and semen from the two areas.

On 16 November, France reported an outbreak in a duck farm in St. Aubin du Plain. The same influenza strain was detected in a bird farm in the state of Thuringen in Germany on 19 November.

"There is a need to prevent the entry of the low-pathogenic avian influenza virus to protect the health of the local poultry population," the orders read. "The department will immediately suspend the processing, evaluation of the application and issuance of veterinary quarantine clearance to import the above-stated commodities."

The department also said it has set up more than 625 avian influenza task forces, while conducting community-based workshops in a bid to raise public awareness over the risks still posed by the avian influenza virus, despite the higher profile taken by A(H1N1) due to the pandemic.

In 2008, the Philippines imported 994,275 kg of poultry and poultry products worth $1.090 mln from France, data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics show.

Source: Business World online

Natalie Berkhout

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