UK poultry import bans
LONDON: South Africa announced on Thursday it was banning imports of all poultry products from Britain after an outreak of the deadly H5N1 virus was discovered on a turkey farm in eastern England last weekend.
Earlier this week, Russia, Hong Kong, Japan, Ukraine, South Korea announced import restrictions on British poultry meat imports. South Africa was the ninth largest purchaser of UK poultry meat in 2006, importing an estimated 6,500 tonnes.
Indonesia, St Vincent and Macedonia are also reported to have implemented bans, while several other countries are said to be considering full or partial embargos. Bosnia has confirmed that poultry meat imported from eastern England is outlawed, while Ireland has imposed a ban on the import of birds for gatherings or shows. EU veterinary experts advised member countries on Tuesday to keep poultry indoors in recognised high-risk bird flu areas. It said a global ban on British poultry exports would be unjustified.
Although no EU members have unilaterally implemented import bans on UK poultry meat, Ireland is facing potential legal action from the European Commission over their partial ban, an EU official said on Wednesday. The Irish Times reported on Thursday that Ireland’s Department of Agriculture is rejecting these claims.
British poultry: Almost 160,000 turkeys were culled on Monday after the discovery of the highly pathogenic bird flu strain on a farm in Suffolk run by Europe’s largest turkey producer, Bernard Matthews. reuters