NEWS

Avian flu quarantine expands as Hong Kong bans some B.C. poultry

12/03/2014 04:27 EST | Updated 02/02/2015 05:59 EST
Hong Kong has banned the import of poultry meat and products from the Fraser Valley Regional District as Canadian officials announce the quarantine for the avian influenza outbreak in the region has been expanded.

The import ban takes effect immediately, "for the protection of Hong Kong's public health," according to a statement from the government of Hong Kong's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

Hong Kong imported 7,000 tonnes of frozen poultry and about 170,000 poultry eggs from Canada between January and October of this year, said the statement.

Hong Kong has had its own problems with avian flu, including an H5N1 outbreak in 2011 that lead to the slaughter of more than 19,000 birds and a ban on the sale of live poultry for three weeks.

Two more Canadian farms under quarantine

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency first announced Tuesday that the avian flu outbreak killed more than 6,000 turkeys and chickens at two farms on the weekend. Another 12,000 birds at those facilities are being euthanized to contain the outbreak.

On Wednesday the CFIA announced two neighbouring farms have also been put under quarantine as a precaution, but avian flu has not been detected at those new locations.

The B.C. Poultry Association is confident biosecurity measures will be able to stop the spread of avian flu in the region.

No human has become ill from H5 influenza outbreak, according to public health officials.

The virus does not pose a risk to food products that are properly cooked.

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