Widespread bans on Chinese poultry imports
In the wake of the H79N Avian influenza outbreak affecting humans in China, many countries have taken measures to close their borders to Chinese poultry product imports.
Malaysia is one of the latest countries to ban all imported chicken from China and is urging its own poultry farmers to beware of bird flu after Taiwan reported a case of the deadly strain, the first outside mainland China. Malaysia joins Vietnam and Indonesia, which banned all poultry products from Asia's largest economy earlier this month.
Malaysia imports about 22,000 metric tons of frozen chicken meat from China, accounting for 65% of the country's annual purchases from abroad, but the import ban "will not have a major impact" on chicken meat processors in Malaysia, an industry executive from the Federation of Livestock Farmers' Associations of Malaysia said. Processors will be able to make up the difference by buying more meat from local poultry farms.
The Philippines has also temporarily closed its borders to Chinese chicken. “There is a need to prevent the entry of pathogenic virus causing avian flu to protect the health of the local poultry population,” said the Philippines Agriculture Secretary, Proceso Alcala. Quarantine officials must be cautious of travellers who might bring poultry and poultry products from China, Alcala said.
The first case of human infection with the H7N9 virus was reported in the coastal province of Shandong, a major chicken-processing area in China. A total of 112 infections have been reported so far, with 23 deaths.
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