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FROM BUSINESS MIRROR: Govt eases curbs on movement of local poultry products

Author: DA Communications Group | 16 May 2022

The government has further eased its restrictions on the movement of poultry products to ensure adequate supply following a decrease in the number of bird flu outbreaks.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has allowed the free movement of various poultry products, including live birds and table eggs, even from areas with confirmed bird flu cases as long as the products test negative for the disease.

“Based on the evaluation of the outbreak cases of H5N1 and H5N8 over the last 30 days, majority of the affected poultry species are ducks and quails,” the DA said in memorandum circular (MC) 16 series of 2022.

“To ensure supply chain continuity and local food sufficiency, the movement of different poultry related commodities will be allowed subject to additional safety measures to prevent the further spread of HPAI [highly pathogenic avian influenza] to the remaining free areas in the country.”

Under MC 16, movement of day-old chicks (DOCs), hatching eggs (HEs) and ready to lay (RTLs) pullets from bird-flu affected areas in Mainland Luzon and Mindanao to any part of the Philippines is now allowed provided they test negative for AI.

The DA said intra-island and inter-island movement of DOCs, HEs and RTLs from AI-free areas has been allowed provided they are accompanied by negative AI test results.

The agency added that transport of table eggs, salted eggs, quail eggs and embryonated eggs (balut) from bird-flu affected areas to bird-flu free areas in the country is now allowed as long as they comply with risk mitigation measures.

“The table eggs, salted eggs, quail eggs and embryonated eggs must be transported in new or appropriately sanitized containers or egg trays,” it said.

The DA said balut must undergo ultraviolet light disinfection prior to loading for shipment by air or sea.

Inter-island movement of poultry meat from bird-flu affected areas to bird-flu free areas is allowed as long as they are accompanied by pertinent inspection certificates, according to the DA.

“Transport of poultry manure is allowed provided there are attestations from Local Government Units veterinary offices that the manure is sourced from AI/ND (Newcastle Disease) free areas.”

Movement restrictions

Transport of live ducks, quails, pigeons and gamefowls within the country remain restricted for 30 days from May 11 with only a few exceptions as outlined by the DA’s latest movement rules.

The DA has only allowed the transport of gamefowls from Mimaropa and bird flu-free areas in Mindanao to any destination within the country as long as they test negative for bird flu.

Movement of ducks within Mimaropa and Visayas and from Mimaropa and Visayas to Mainland Luzon and Mindanao is allowed as long as they secure two consecutive negative AI test results.

Quails can be transported within Mimaropa and Visayas as well as from Mimaropa and Visayas to Mainland and Luzon as long as they are certified as bird flu-free.

The DA said inter-regional movement of stranded grazing ducks within Mindanao is allowed as long as the shipment of the live poultry was mutually agreed by concerned local government units (LGU) and must be accompanied by a certificate of acceptance from the LGU of destination.

The DA has extended the suspension of certain activities, such as pigeon racing and live bird markets, in areas with confirmed bird flu outbreaks for another 30 days to prevent the spread of the disease.

“Transport/movement of pet birds (parakeet, dove, lovebirds etc.) across the country is prohibited for 30 days,” the DA said.

“Other related activities such as racing, flying, training, breeding, cockfighting and other related activities for pigeons and gamefowls will be continuously suspended for 30 days.”

In its latest report, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) said 91 out of the 92 confirmed bird flu cases nationwide have been resolved as of May 10.

The BAI added that the bird flu outbreaks this year resulted in the death of 75,703 birds, majority of which being quail at 55,616. BAI data showed that the government has culled 172,118 birds across 14 affected provinces to contain and prevent the spread of bird flu.

The government is set to indemnify affected poultry raisers with a total amount of P12.807 million.


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