National

Hong Kong bans Japan poultry in bird flu scare

Kyodo

Hong Kong’s food watchdog said Tuesday that poultry meat and eggs from Yamaguchi Prefecture have been banned due to an outbreak of bird flu there.

The Center for Food Safety said in a statement the ban was imposed “in view of the announcement made by the Japanese authorities about an outbreak of H5 avian influenza.”

The move followed the prefecture’s announcement earlier in the day that a genetic test confirmed the virus at a farm in the city of Nagato after 21 chickens died Sunday and Monday.

More than 4,600 tons of frozen and chilled poultry meat and 17.7 million poultry eggs were imported from Japan to Hong Kong in the first 10 months of 2014, compared with some 8,000 tons and 17 million eggs in 2013.

Outbreaks of the H5 bird flu virus on a farm in Kumamoto Prefecture in April and in Miyazaki Prefecture a fortnight ago have led to separate import bans on poultry products from those prefectures.

The center said it has contacted Japanese authorities over the issue and will closely monitor information about the outbreak issued by the World Organization for Animal Health.