Japan Lifts Ban on Arkansas Poultry Meat

JAPAN and US - Japan has joined Russia in lifting its ban on imports of poultry products from Arkansas. Low-pathogenic bird flu was found in a poultry flock in the US state in June 2013.
calendar icon 30 October 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

Japan has joined Russia and a US state in lifting its ban on Arkansas poultry and poultry products, a state official has told 5NewsOnline.

Russia, Japan, China, Turkey, Hong Kong and in the US, Mississippi and Georgia, banned Arkansas poultry and poultry products after a strain of avian influenza was found at a Scott County farm in June, said Preston Scroggin, director of the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission.

However, Russia and Mississippi began accepting Arkansas poultry and poultry products earlier this month, and now Japan also is accepting Arkansas poultry and poultry products again, Mr Scroggin said last week.

Dr Brandon Doss, also of the state Livestock and Poultry Commission, said Georgia and the other countries besides China were expected to end their bans on 24 October or 90 days after the cleaning and disinfecting on 24 July of the Scott County farm where bird flu was discovered in June. He said it is unclear when China might end its ban.

US Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark), said in the summer that China is “being unfair” by banning poultry from all of Arkansas over an isolated incident.

“Our products are safe, healthy, and nutritious,” he said in a prepared statement. “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.”

The state Livestock and Poultry Commission received confirmation of the positive test on 18 June and quarantined all poultry within a 6.2-mile radius of the Scott County chicken house facility where the infected bird was located, according to Governor Mike Beebe’s office.

Mr Scroggin told 5NewsOnline that 18 chickens from that farm in Boles were found to have avian influenza, commonly known as 'bird flu'. Those birds were killed, as were 9,000 other chickens that were destroyed in the area as a precaution. He said the bird flu incident was isolated to one farm.

In June, he said the state completed its follow-up testing of chickens in Scott County and found no new evidence bird flu.

“We feel real good where we’re at. We think we got it,” Mr Scroggin told 5NewsOnline. “For all intents and purposes, we’re done with our testing.”

He added that the follow-up testing ended on 8 and 9 July on about 10 commercial chicken houses and 52 'backyard flocks', with none turning up any evidence of bird flu.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

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