MANILA The Philippines temporarily banned the importation of domestic and wild birds, including game fowl, from San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles counties in the US's California State.
Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel PiAol ordered the ban, citing as basis official data from the US agriculture department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regarding several confirmed incidence of the virulent Newcastle Disease (vND) in the southern California counties.
The disease is affecting backyard exhibition chickens, he noted.
"There is (the) need to prevent (the) entry of vND to protect (the) health of the local poultry population," he said in Memorandum Order 20 which DA released on Tuesday (July 31).
PiAol already suspended the processing and evaluation of applications, as well as the issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances covering the banned birds.
DA veterinary quarantine officers and inspectors in all major ports across the country are also ordered to stop and confiscate inbound shipments of such birds.
APHIS said vND is a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting the respiratory, nervous and digestive systems of birds and poultry.
"The disease is so virulent that many birds and poultry die without showing any clinical signs," it said.
The vND spreads when healthy birds have direct contact with sick birds' bodily fluids. Aside from spreading quickly, APHIS said vND can infect and cause death even in vaccinated poultry.
Last week, APHIS said the US agriculture department already confirmed 66 cases of vND involving backyard birds in California since May 18. California's San Bernardino county has 57 cases, Riverside County has five cases and Los Angeles County has four, said APHIS.
APHIS also noted that vND has not been found in commercial poultry in the US since 2003 and clarified that it is not a food safety concern. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency