MANILA, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines has imposed a ban on the import of all poultry products, including dressed and deboned chickens, eggs and ducks from South Korea, Germany, France and the Netherlands which were hit by Avian flu outbreaks, the Philippine agriculture chief said on Monday.
Agriculture Secretary manuel Pinol said he has directed Enrico Garzon, assistant secretary for livestock and acting director of the Bureau of Animal Industry "to implement the ban immediately to protect the country's poultry and duck industry."
Over the weekend, he said he signed directive to temporarily ban poultry products from those Asian and European countries.
Pinol said the Philippines will only buy eggs, chickens and ducks from the United States, Canada and Australia "because they never had reported cases of Avian flu or poultry diseases and also because they have always implemented stringent quarantine measures."
He added, however, that "strict quarantine measures will be implemented even for products coming from the three exempted countries."
According to the World Health Organization, Avian influenza is an infectious disease of birds caused by type A strains of the flu virus.
It said the infection can cause a wide spectrum of symptoms in birds, ranging from mild illness, which may pass unnoticed, to a rapidly fatal disease that can cause severe epidemics.
The WHO said that Avian flu do not normally infect humans. However, there have been instances of certain highly pathogenic strains causing severe respiratory disease in humans.