HONG KONG, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) — Hong Kong’s food safety authority decided on Friday to suspend the import of poultry meat and products from Tomskaya Oblast in Russia, the District of Nordfriesland of the State of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, and Cheshire West and Chester District of Cheshire County in Britain due to bird flu outbreaks in these places.
The Center for Food Safety (CFS) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government’s Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said that in view of notifications from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) about an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza in the places, the CFS has instructed the trade to suspend the import of poultry meat and products, including poultry eggs, from these 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 of the HKSAR government, Hong Kong imported about 142 tons of frozen poultry meat from Russia in the first nine months of this year.
During the same period, Hong Kong imported about 2,500 tons of frozen poultry meat and about 880,000 poultry eggs from Germany, and about 8,700 tons of chilled and frozen poultry meat and about 330,000 poultry eggs from Britain.
“The CFS has contacted the Russian, German 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.