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Poultry Imports From U.S. to be Temporarily Suspended

Posted February. 08, 2004 22:30,   


Another strain of bird flu has broken out in the United States, causing several Asian countries such as South Korea, Japan, and Singapore to place a temporary ban on poultry imports from the United States.

The agricultural minister of the state of Delaware in the U.S. disclosed on February 6 that “an outbreak of bird flu was confirmed at a chicken farm in Kent, Delaware. I ordered the destruction of 1,200 chickens raised on the problematic farm.” On the farm, two out of five chickens tested positive for a bird flu virus infection.

The minister asserted that “this strain of bird flu virus is H7, which is far different from the H5N2 strain which is prevalent in Asia. It cannot be transmitted to humans.”

Because of this outbreak, the Ministry of Agriculture, on February 7, proclaimed a “Suspension of Inspection On Imported Goods’,” which is essentially a ban on the import of poultry and its processed goods.

The ministry is planning to officially declare the ban if the bird flu that occurred in the United States turns out to be a highly virulent bacillus strain, which possesses a relatively higher lethality.

Of the total amount of imported chickens (81,920 tons), U.S. products account for 49 percent or 40,107 tons. In the case of ducks, U.S. imports account for 4 percent of all imports (2,195 tons).

Japan and Singapore have also announced that from February 7 onwards, all living birds, chickens, frozen poultry, and related processed goods will be temporarily prohibited from entry.

On the other hand, the development of bird flu diffusion has not yet been alleviated.

On February 7, the agricultural ministry of China announced that new bird flu-infected poultry was found in Zhang-si province, and that other suspected bird cases were confirmed in Win-nan and Ghan-su provinces.

The ministry added that the existing bird flu suspected area, Hu-bei province and Hu-nan province, have turned out to have bird flu infections.

Accordingly, the numbers of bird flu outbreak cases in China have increased to 31 since the first suspected case was reported in Gwang-si province back on January 23, including 13 confirmed bird flu cases and 18 suspected cases.

In addition, a hospital located 110 kilometers south of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, has announced that a woman is assumed to have died from bird flu infection. It is the first case in Cambodia involving a human victim.