The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is on alert against all meat products coming from China amid the reported cases of H5N1 virus.
According to BOC spokesperson Vincent Philip Maronilla, they are in close coordination with proper agencies involved in such shipments.
We are on alert status on meat products from China. We will be checking all permits and coordinate very closely with BAI (Bureau of Animal Industry) and NMIS (National Meat Inspection Service) before these shipments are released, Maronilla said in an interview on Monday.
The BOC official said BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero will soon issue measures against the bird flu outbreak as they are seeking clarification from the Department of Agriculture (DA).
We are coordinating now very closely with DA. Yes, he (Guerrero) will issue. Just seeking some clarifications from DA before we issue, he said.
Asked on what they will do on shipments that do not directly come from China but are diverted to other ports first before going to the country, Maronilla said they are monitoring them.
That is now being monitored by our container control unit, which receives advance info on containers coming in, he said.
On Sunday, it was reported that another virus has spread among chicken in a China province, aside from the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) in Wuhan.
Chinese authorities have confirmed an H5N1 outbreak that killed over 4,000 chickens in Shaoyang City in Hunan province.
H5N1 is a type of influenza virus that causes a highly infectious, severe respiratory disease in birds called avian influenza. It was first detected in 1996 in China. Human cases of H5N1 avian influenza occur occasionally, but it is difficult to transmit the infection from person to person. In 2003, the virus reemerged in birds and other animals.
Source: Philippines News Agency