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Japanese Poultry Import Ban 'A Shame'

by 5m Editor
2 October 2007, at 10:08am

JAPAN - The president of the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council has called the Japanese reaction to the discovery of avian flu at a Saskatchewan farm “a shame,” despite the fact that exports to Japan account for less than 10 per cent of total Canadian poultry production.

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“There are a few things going for us in this situation. This was a parent farm, which deals with hatching eggs, rather than fully grown poultry, and it was fairly remote.”

Robin Horel, President and CEO of the council.

Japan suspended all Canadian poultry imports on Friday, after H7N3 was discovered in a farm 40 kilometres north of Regina. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency stresses that this strain of avian flu is not transferable to humans. The United States has also placed a regional ban on poultry coming from Saskatchewan.

According to the Chicken Farmers of Canada, Japan represents a small market for Canadian grown poultry, with only 7.5 per cent of the approximately one billion kilograms of chicken produced annually being shipped there.

The Japanese reaction is “not unexpected, but it’s a shame,” says Robin Horel, President and CEO of the council. “You would hope that once they look at the measures that the CFIA has in place that they would reconsider. The US reaction is much more sensible, but in international trade there is some science, but a whole lot of politics as well.”

Horel says that both groups have both been taking steps to make sure that the virus does not spread to other farms.

“There are a few things going for us in this situation. This was a parent farm, which deals with hatching eggs, rather than fully grown poultry, and it was fairly remote.” Horel says the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has also been doing testing on other “backyard flocks” around the farm where H7N3 was discovered, and that none of the birds tested have been found infected.

Source: Winnipegfirst

5m Editor