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Politicians, Officials Attack Chinese Ban of Arkansas Poultry

01 August 2013

US - China's ban on Arkansas' poultry imports due to an outbreak of low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) has been criticised by politicians and state officials.

A USDA statement said that all poultry and poultry products shipped from the State of Arkansas on or after 22 July have been deemed ineligible for export to China.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said Japan banned Arkansas imports from 20 June and Russia is reported also to have banned poultry from the state.

Last month, the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission reported that a chicken in Scott County tested positive for H7N7 low-pathogenic avian influenza and the state agriculture officials quarantined poultry within a 6.2 mile radius of the case.

However, Arkansas senator Mark Pryor said the Chinese action was "unfair".

"This was an isolated incident, and China is being unfair by banning poultry imports from our entire state. Our products are safe, healthy, and nutritious," he said.

"I’ll be working with food safety and trade officials to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and reopen this market for our farmers.

"In the meantime, my family and I will continue to eat Arkansas poultry, and I know others in our state will do the same."

Arkansas Congressman Rick Crawford also condemned China’s decision to cease imports of Arkansas poultry products following the isolated incident of avian flu.

"Those of us in Arkansas who have enjoyed the nutritious, tasty, and perfectly safe poultry products produced in our state for generations can attest to the high quality of Arkansas chicken," said congressman Crawford.

"One isolated incident, dealt with according to regulations and without any further evidence of illness, should not preclude our entire state’s poultry industry from access to the Chinese market. I am disappointed in what appears to be punitive action by the Chinese government against Arkansas agriculture and I will do everything in my power to assure that our producers are afforded the opportunity to export to this market as soon as possible."

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

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