Ban on poultry imports from Japan lifted

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) has lifted a temporary ban on poultry imports from Japan, after that country’s poultry industry was deemed free of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), or bird flu.

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar signed Memorandum Order No. 52 on Sept. 10 which lifted the ban on Japanese domestic and wild birds and their products, including meat, day-old chicks, eggs, and semen.

“Based on the evaluation of the DA, the risk of contamination… is negligible,” Mr. Dar said in the order.

Japanese veterinary authorities have sent a report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) confirming the end of the bird flu outbreak.

“In accordance with the provisions of Chapter 10.4 of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code, Japan is now free from highly pathogenic avian influenza,” Mr. Dar said.

On Dec. 14, the DA implemented the ban on Japanese poultry imports via Memorandum Order 75.

At the time, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries had outbreaks of the H5N8 HPAI virus in Higashi, Kagawa City, Kagawa Prefecture, and in other prefectures such as Fukuoka, Hyogo, Miyazaki, Nara, and Hiroshima. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave