Hong Kong suspends import of poultry meat and products from KwaZulu-Natal
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced on July 21, that in view of a notification from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) about an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza in Mkhambathini Local Municipality of KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa, the CFS has instructed the trade to suspend the import of poultry meat and products (including poultry eggs) from the above mentioned area with immediate effect to protect public health in Hong Kong.
A CFS spokesman said that Hong Kong currently has an established protocol with South Africa for the import of poultry meat but not for poultry eggs. According to the Census and Statistics Department, no poultry meat was imported from South Africa in the first three months of this year.
"The CFS has contacted the South African authority over the issue 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. ■