RIYADH, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Saudi Arabia has imposed a temporary ban on importing live birds, hatching eggs and chicks from the Philippines and Laos due to bird flu outbreaks, the Saudi Press Agency reported Tuesday.
Sanad Al-Harbi, director general of the Animal Assessment Department of Saudi's Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, said the ban was based on a warning issued on Aug. 11 by World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on outbreaks of high virulent bird flu in the two countries.
The Philippines has confirmed the first outbreak of H5N1 bird flu that was detected in a farm in Pampanga province, north of the capital Manila.
Philippine Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol announced on Aug. 11 that the government will cull 200,000 chickens, quails and ducks to prevent the spread of the bird flu.
Laos has reported five highly pathogenic H5N1 outbreaks, the first since October 2016, according to a OIE report released on Aug. 10.