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Outbreak of Avian Flu Prompts Import Bans on Poultry and Eggs from Australia and US


In response to outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza strains in Australia and the United States, Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety (CFS) has moved to suspend imports of poultry meat and eggs from the affected regions.

The announcement comes after the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) reported outbreaks of the H7N8 virus in Canberra, Australia, as well as the H5N1 strain in Iowa and Minnesota in the United States.

According to CFS data, Hong Kong imported around 130 tonnes of chilled and frozen poultry and 4.06 million eggs from Australia in the first three months of this year. From the US, the imports were even higher, reaching 16,480 tonnes of poultry and 7.73 million eggs during the same period.

“The safety and health of the public is our top priority,” a CFS spokesman stated. “We have contacted the authorities in Australia and the US and will continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with the WOAH. Appropriate actions will be taken as the circumstances evolve.”

The swift move to suspend poultry imports from the affected regions underscores the heightened vigilance over avian influenza outbreaks, which pose serious risks to both animal and human health. Previous outbreaks of strains like H5N1 have caused widespread devastation to poultry populations and resulted in sporadic human infections with high mortality rates.

Experts emphasize the importance of robust disease surveillance, rapid response, and international cooperation to contain the spread of these dangerous avian flu viruses. The CFS’ proactive measures aim to safeguard Hong Kong’s food supply and public wellbeing in the face of this evolving threat.