Philippines: The Latest Country to Ban Saskatchewan Poultry

CANADA - The Philippines became the latest country Thursday to temporarily ban imports of bird products from Saskatchewan as the result of an avian flu outbreak on a farm three weeks ago.
calendar icon 19 October 2007
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A total of 39 countries are now refusing poultry from Saskatchewan. While some say the ban is not having a huge impact on the industry, there are others who caution it could have a long-lasting effect.

"There will be some time to do the surveillance with these producers but in term of pocket-book effects, we're at a business as usual state right now," said Clinton Monchuk of the Chicken Farmers of Saskatchewan.

However, Sylvain Charlebois with the University of Regina's faculty of business, said such bans may send "a very detrimental message across the world saying that Canada perhaps is not managing risk properly. I think the Canadian Food Inspection Agency should be worried about that."

About 50,000 chickens infected with avian flu on the farm were destroyed and the facility has been cleaned and disinfected.

The CFIA has said it will monitor any new flock to make sure it is virus-free.

The highly pathogenic H7N3 strain of avian influenza found on the farm 40 kilometres north of Regina was the same strain behind a 2004 outbreak in British Columbia that saw 17 million chickens destroyed, but is not the strain dangerous to humans.

None of the chickens from the Saskatchewan farm got into the food chain, but even if they had, CFIA officials said the disease would not make the meat unsafe for humans.

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