Philippines bans Malaysian poultry imports over bird flu outbreak
submited by kickingbird at Aug, 25, 2004 0:20 AM from AFP
MANILA : The Philippines has banned imports of Malaysian poultry products after an outbreak of a lethal form of bird flu there, the agriculture department said on Tuesday.
While Manila does not import live birds, poultry meat or eggs in commercial quantities from its Southeast Asian neighbour, "there is a possibility that some travellers may bring in pet birds from Malaysia," Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said in a written order.
"There is also a possibility of trans-shipment of live domestic and wild birds including poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and semen through Malaysia."
All such imports from Malaysia, or imports from third countries that were shipped into the Philippines by way of Malaysia, are banned and such shipments would be confiscated, Yap added.
Bird flu was confirmed early this year in several Asian countries.
Kuala Lumpur said last week that the H5N1 strain of avian influenza had been discovered for the first time in Malaysia, in a village near the border with Thailand. Eight Thais have died of bird flu this year.
But Health Minister Chua Soi Lek said on Monday that all seven patients admitted to hospital for checks have tested negative for the disease.
The disease has also killed 19 people in Vietnam, and the World Health Organisation fears the virus could mutate into a highly contagious form that triggers the next global human flu pandemic.
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