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Hong Kong suspends poultry imports from Russia, Netherlands and UK on bird flu fears

Hing Kong's Centre for Food Safety has moved to ban all imports of poultry meat and products from areas in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Russia that are affected by avian influenza.

16 November 2020, at 10:16am

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced on 16 November that in view of notifications from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) about outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug and Samarskaya Oblast in Russia, Groningen in the Netherlands and Herefordshire County in the United Kingdom (UK), the CFS has instructed the trade to suspend the import of poultry meat and products (including poultry eggs) from the above-mentioned areas with immediate effect to protect public health in Hong Kong.

A CFS spokesman said that Hong Kong has currently established a protocol with Russia for the import of poultry meat but not for poultry eggs. According to the Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong imported about 142 tonnes of frozen poultry meat from Russia in the first nine months of this year. During the same period, Hong Kong imported about 4,600 tonnes of frozen poultry meat from the Netherlands, and about 8,700 tonnes of chilled and frozen poultry meat and about 330,000 poultry eggs from the UK.

"The CFS has contacted the Russian, Dutch and British authorities over the issues and will closely monitor information issued by the OIE on the avian influenza outbreaks. Appropriate action will be taken in response to the development of the situation," the spokesman said.