MANILA, Aug 19 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has imposed a temporary ban on the importation of fowls and their byproducts from Australia due to the outbreak of avian influenza or bird flu in the said country.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar issued Memorandum Order No. 40 series of 2020 on August 14, a copy of which was distributed to reporters on Wednesday.

Based on the memorandum, a temporary ban on the importation of domestic and wild birds and their products, including poultry meat, day old chicks, eggs, and semen originating from Australia.

The order stemmed from official report submitted by the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment to the World Health Organization on July 31, 2020 that there was one outbreak of H7N7 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in Lethbridge, Victoria affecting birds on July 24 as confirmed by the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness.

With this, Dar directed the immediate suspension of the processing, evaluation of the application and issuance of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) import clearance to domestic and wild bird and their byproducts from Australia.

“All incoming poultry shipments with SPS import clearance issued on or before 6 August 2020 will be allowed provided that frozen poultry meat has a slaughter/process date of 21 days prior to the start of the HPAI outbreak (on or before 3 July 2020),” he said.

“All shipments will be subject to veterinary quarantine rules and regulations,” he added.

Moreover, Dar ordered a stoppage and confiscation of all shipment of the said commodities, with the exception on heat treated products, into the country by all DA Veterinary Quarantine Officer/Inspections at all major ports of entry.

He said the the memorandum is in effect and shall remain enforced unless revoked.

Earlier, the DA issued a temporary ban on the importation of poultry meat from Brazil due to reports of COVID-19 contamination detected in a sample of frozen chicken wings. (MNS)

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