Gov’t Bans Imports of Pork from South Korea

PHILIPPINES - The government has banned imports of pork from South Korea, as well as poultry and live birds from the same country and Taiwan, an Agriculture official said over the weekend.
calendar icon 16 February 2010
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Davinio P. Catbagan, director of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), said in a phone interview that the ban on pork, poultry products and live birds from South Korea was issued on 5 January, while the one on poultry and live birds from Taiwan was issued on 26 January.

He attributed the ban to reports of outbreaks of foot and mouth disease (FMD) as well as low-pathogenic avian influenza, or bird flu, in those economies.

According to BusinessWorld, on 30 January, South Korea reported its sixth FMD case in a cattle farm north of Seoul.

The same country reported on 26 January that tests conducted in December last year confirmed that about 26,000 ducks in a farm in Seosan City were infected with the H5 strain of bird flu.

Taiwan, on the other hand, reported on 21 January that 7,000 chickens in a farm in Changhua County, Taiwan died of the virus.

Last year, the Philippines imported 114.36 million kilograms of pork, 7.6 per cent of which came from South Korea. But the Philippines does not import poultry or poultry products from either South Korea or Taiwan.

BAI data show that the local livestock sector lost about P2.3 billion to FMD between 1995-2005. The country has not had any reported case of the disease since then.

The Philippines has a pending application with the World Organization for Animal Health for "FMD-free without vaccination" status for Luzon -- the remaining part of the country without such certification.

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