Tel Aviv (VNA)Saudi Arabia on August 22 imposed a temporary ban on the import of live birds, eggs and chicks from the Philippines and Laos due to concern over avian influenza.

The ban is prompted by a warning issued on August 11 by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on outbreaks of avian influenza in the two countries, said Sanad Al-Harbi, Director General of the Animal Assessment Department of Saudi's Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture.

The Philippines has confirmed the first outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza at a farm in Pampanga province, north of the capital city of Manila.

Philippine Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol on August 11 announced that the government would cull 200,000 chickens, quails and ducks to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Meanwhile, a report issued on August 10 by OIE said Laos had declared five H5N1 outbreaks since October 2016. 

Japan, the Republic of Korea and Singapore have temporarily banned the import of poultry products and pet birds from the Philippines. -VNA