UN says bans on poultry imports destructive to world trade

GLOBAL - The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned against pre-emptive bans of poultry imports to ward off a possible bird flu outbreak.

The FAO says the bans are unnecessary and destructive to world trade.

Nations including Senegal, Argentina and Sudan have halted all poultry imports, regardless of origin.

Malaysia imposed a ban on imports of pet birds to prevent an outbreak of the deadly virus after it was detected in an imported parrot in Britain.

"Trade restrictions to safeguard human and animal health should be imposed only in proportion to the risk involved and should be removed promptly when no longer needed," the FAO said, while declining to specify which nations it thought were acting irresponsibly.

The agency said disease-related export restrictions and cross-border disease outbreaks had already affected global trade in 2004/2005, with international meat prices at 10-year highs.

The FAO said avian influenza was not a food-borne disease and that the bird flu virus was killed by the heat of normal cooking. "There is no risk of getting avian influenza from properly cooked poultry and eggs," it said.

Source: abc.net.au
calendar icon 27 October 2005
clock icon 1 minute read
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