Hong Kong suspends import of poultry meat and products from areas in several countries
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced on November 15, that in view of notifications from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) about outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza in Chungcheongbuk do Province in Korea, Rogaland County in Norway and Province of Groningen in the Netherlands; a notification from the General Veterinary Inspectorate of Poland about an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza in Sokołowski District of Mazowieckie Region in Poland; and a notification from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan about an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza in Kagoshima Prefecture in Japan, 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 currently has an established protocol with Norway for import of poultry meat but not for poultry eggs.
According to the Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong imported about 10 tonnes of frozen poultry meat and 0.28 million poultry eggs from Korea; about 15 tonnes of frozen poultry meat from Norway; about 730 tonnes of frozen poultry meat from the Netherlands; about 4 070 tonnes of frozen poultry meat and about 24.82 million poultry eggs from Poland; and about 40 tonnes of chilled poultry meat, about 2 530 tonnes of frozen poultry meat and about 210.28 million poultry eggs from Japan in the first nine months of this year.
"The CFS has contacted the Korean, Norwegian, Dutch, Polish and Japanese authorities over the issues and will closely monitor information issued by the OIE and the relevant authorities on the avian influenza outbreaks. Appropriate action will be taken in response to the development of the situation," the spokesman said. ■