Friday, September 30, 2022

Bird flu: China bans importation of poultry from France

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China implemented a ban on imports of poultry and related products from France where an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza has been reported.

This is according to a joint statement issued on Wednesday by the General Administration of Customs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in Beijing.

From Jan. 5, it is forbidden to send or bring French poultry and related products to China, and any such items shall be returned or destroyed, an official said.

The statement also urged Chinese customs and animal disease prevention and control agencies to step up guard against such imports.

France confirmed first avian flu outbreak in poultry.

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As France becomes the 15th European country to report highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in poultry this winter, three other states have confirmed further cases.

The disease is also affecting Asia, with new outbreaks registered in Japan and South Korea.

France is to cull around 600,000 poultry birds as it tries to contain an avian influenza virus that is spreading among duck flocks in the southwest of the country, the farm ministry said on Tuesday.

France is among European countries to have reported highly contagious strains of bird flu late 2019, leading to mass culls as authorities try to limit transmission from wild birds to farm flocks.

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France has already slaughtered around 200,000 poultry and plans to cull a further 400,000 birds, a farm ministry official said.

The culls include flocks where outbreaks occurred as well as preventive slaughtering of birds in surrounding areas.

As at Jan. 1, France had confirmed 61 outbreaks of the H5N8 virus, of which 48 were in the south-western Landes region, the farm ministry said in an earlier website update.

The Landes is part of a duck breeding zone that supplies the foie gras industry.

In other regions, the spread of the virus appeared to be under control, the ministry added.

The H5N8 strain of bird flu is not known to be transmissible to humans.

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Xinhua/NAN

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