Japan lifts poultry import bans

25-05-2006 | |

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has permitted a partial resumption of poultry imports from Britain, and has also reopened its doors to imports from the Phillipines.

The ban against British poultry has been partially lifted because the country’s most recent outbreak of avian influenza involved the low pathogenic H7N3 strain rather than the deadly H5N1 strain.

Shipments from Norfolk in the east of the country where local farms were struck by the virus, however, will remain suspended. Japan imports the bulk of the original stocks of chickens it uses and consumes the meat and eggs mainly of their third-generation offspring. Of some 1 million chickens imported last year, about 370,000 came from Britain.

Japan was the first country to ban imports of British poultry amid growing concerns about the threat of avian flu.

Japan will also resume importing products from the Phillipines after successful talks between the two countries on lifting Tokyo’s ban on Philippine poultry products.

Shipments are expected to resume on June 7, according to the Phillipine Ministry for Agriculture.

Japan stopped importing poultry products from the Philippines last year amid fears of an outbreak of bird flu in the archipelago.

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