HONG KONG – Authorities responsible for food safety in Hong Kong announced an immediate ban on imports of poultry meat, eggs and other poultry products sourced from Ontario, Canada.

The Centre for Food Safety (CFR) said in a news release authorities in Canada were notified of the ban and that the agency intends to monitor the situation in Ontario. CFR reported that Hong Kong imported about 5,700 tonnes of frozen poultry meat and approximately 325,000 poultry eggs from Canada so far this year.

The ban comes after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed the presence of low-pathogenic H5 avian influenza at a duck farm near St. Catharines, Ontario. CFIA placed the farm under quarantine to contain the disease and established an avian influenza control zone that covers a 3 km radius from the affected farm.

“All premises located within this zone will be placed under quarantine; however, only the initial infected premises has confirmed positive for avian influenza,” CFIA said in a statement. “The agency is monitoring all premises within the zone for any signs of disease.

“The Avian Influenza Control Zone is part of an internationally accepted practice to allow trade to continue from non-infected areas of a country,” CFIA added. “We continue to work very closely with industry and our international partners as this situation develops.”