RP bans British meat after foot and mouth disease outbreak

Agence France-Presse
Last updated 03:24pm (Mla time) 08/08/2007

MANILA, Philippines — The government has banned the import of animals and meat products from Britain susceptible to foot and mouth disease after the disease flared there, the agriculture department said Wednesday.


The order, issued by Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, bans “the importation of FMD [foot and mouth disease] susceptible animals, their products and byproducts originating from the United Kingdom.”


A relatively small volume of pork products, typically used in Philippine food processing industries, were sourced from Britain, said Davinio Catbagan, the director of the Bureau of Animal Industry.


But the Philippines does not import beef from Britain due to concerns over mad cow disease, the official said.


The Philippines had imported some 227,000 kilograms [499,400 pounds] of pork products from the United Kingdom so far this year, he said, constituting just 18 percent of total Philippine pork imports.


“We’re talking to the importers to check if we issued import permits [for British meat]. If so, we will recall them,” Catbagan added.


About 120 cattle from three herds in southern England were put down as precaution Saturday after the outbreak was confirmed.


Foot and mouth disease usually hits pigs and cattle and these bans are normally issued over limited periods whenever there is an outbreak from the exporting country, Catbagan said.


“We don’t source breeding animals from there,” he said, adding pets were not likely to be covered by the ban.


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