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Bird, poultry imports from Britain banned after avian flu scare

Bird, poultry imports from Britain banned after avian flu scare

The Philippines ordered a temporary ban on all imports of live birds and poultry products from Britain after a bird flu outbreak there, officials said Tuesday.
Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said the ban took effect February 5.
An outbreak earlier this month of the H5N1 strain of bird flu on a farm northeast of London owned by Europe's biggest turkey producer forced the company, Bernard Matthews PLC, to slaughter 159,000 turkeys.
A statement from Yap instructed Agriculture Department quarantine officers and inspectors at all major airports and seaports to watch out for travelers who may bring in pet birds, poultry and poultry products from Britain.
The ban covers all domestic and wild birds and their products, including day-old chicks, eggs and semen from Britain, the statement said.
The Philippines has remained free of bird flu since the H5N1 virus re-emerged in Asia in 2003.
Live chicks
The Philippines imports mostly day-old chicks from Britain. In 2006, it imported 64,060 heads of chicks, comprising 7 percent of the country's total chick imports.
Yap earlier issued a similar ban on live bird and poultry imports from Japan and South Korea after the bird flu virus was detected in those countries.
The disease has claimed at least 167 lives worldwide since it began ravaging Asian poultry farms in late 2003, according to the World Health Organization.
Bird flu remains hard for humans to catch. But international experts fear it may mutate into a form that could spread easily between humans and potentially kill millions around the world, including in wealthy nations that have so far been spared human cases.


Updated : 2021-10-16 14:31 GMT+08:00