Ban on Dutch poultry imports lifted

THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture (DA) has lifted a ban imposed on poultry imports from the Netherlands after it reported its outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) to be under control.

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar issued Memorandum Order No. 49 on Aug. 25 which permits imports of Dutch domestic and wild birds and their products, including poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs, and semen.

Mr. Dar said the ban was lifted after the Netherlands submitted evidence on the disease control measures implemented by its veterinary service to contain the HPAI outbreaks in that country.

“Based on the report submitted by veterinary authorities of Netherlands to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the outbreaks of HPAI have been resolved following the conditions set in the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code,” Mr. Dar said.

“Only poultry meat sourced from the Netherlands or from countries granted system accreditation by the Philippines shall be authorized to be exported into the country. Other system-accredited countries must also have no current ban issued by this office due to HPAI outbreaks,” he added.

Mr. Dar issued Memorandum Order No. 3 on Jan. 11 that implemented a ban on poultry imports from the Netherlands after reports from its Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality confirmed outbreaks of H5N8 HPAI in Utrecht, Friesland, and Zuid-Holland.

As a result, the DA ordered the suspension of the processing, evaluation, and issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances for such poultry imports.

In 2020, the Bureau of Animal Industry estimates that the Netherlands shipped 124,274.43 metric tons (MT) or 30.9% of the country’s chicken imports.

Due largely to the ban, Dutch shipments had fallen by the end of June to 4,076.10 MT or 2.2% of Philippine chicken imports. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave