MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has ordered a temporary ban on the importation of livestock and products from China, Korea and Namibia where incidences of foot-and-mouth disease have recently been reported.
The ban, that took effect last month through the issuance of memorandum orders 98, 100 and 102, prohibits the entry of livestock and products from Chungcheongbuk-Do, Korea; Jiangsu, China; and Caprivi, Namibia.
As such, the processing and approval of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Import Clearance for livestock and products coming from the said locations have been suspended.
Livestock and products arriving in Philippine ports found to have originated from such locations would be confiscated.
The directive was issued following reports from the Office International del Epizooties (OIE) of outbreak of FMD virus of Serotype O affecting backyard piggery farms in China and Korea and among cattle in Namibia.
OIE is an inter-governmental organization that informs governments of the occurrence of animal diseases and means of controlling the spread of such diseases.
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The organization likewise initiates studies dedicated to surveillance and control of animal diseases, as well as harmonization of regulations to facilitate safe trade of animal and animal products.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the Philippines is being especially cautious about the entry of animal products that may have been infected by animal diseases as the country is striving to boost the production capability of farmers amid increased trade competition in Southeast Asia.
“We cannot afford to take chances. We are maintaining our reputation of being an FMD-free country so we are very vigilant of every possible entry of FMD-infected animals or animal products in the Philippines,” said Alcala.