Hong Kong announces bans on US poultry

by Erica Shaffer
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Hong Kong has implemented a ban on poultry meat and poultry products — including eggs — from two counties in South Dakota and one county in North Dakota following confirmation of H5N2 in commercial turkey flocks.

The ban came after the US Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza in two commercial turkey farms in South Dakota. The most recent confirmations bring the number of affected farms to four.

USDA reported a flock of 53,000 turkeys in McCook County and 46,000 birds in McPherson County. The agency previously confirmed cases in Beadle County and Kingsbury County. State officials culled a total of 87,000 turkeys following confirmation of the virus in Beadle and Kingsbury counties.

Meanwhile, USDA positively identified the presence of H5N2 in a commercial turkey flock of 60,000 birds in Dickey County, North Dakota.

Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said the ban would take effect immediately.

"The CFS has contacted the US authorities over the issue and will closely monitor information issued by the World Organization for Animal Health on avian influenza outbreaks in the country, a CFS spokesman said in a statement. Appropriate action will be taken in response to the development of the situation."

Hong Kong imported about 267,000 tonnes of chilled and frozen poultry meat and about 530 million poultry eggs from the United States in 2014.

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