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Avian flu scare: VN halts US poultry imports

Update: March, 13/2017 - 15:11
US frozen chicken certified as meeting food safety standards before being exported to Việt Nam. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam has halted the import of poultry and poultry products from two US states, Tennessee and Wisconsin, which have been affected by avian flu.

Việt Nam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) issued a decision to halt the import of raw poultry and its byproducts that have not been subjected to heat treatment from March 10 onwards, noting that the two states were battling a strain of low pathogenic H5N2 and the highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza virus.

The ministry has asked the Animal Health Department to closely inspect all cargo from the two US states that were loaded before March 10 for delivery to Việt Nam. 

MARD is in regular communication with authorities in the United States on the bird flu situation and will continue to monitor the developments closely.

An avian flu outbreak emerged on March 6 in Tennessee, with the low pathogenic H7N9 found infecting 16,500 birds, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a report posted on March 10 on the website of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The outbreak marks the first detection of the H7N9 strain in commercial poultry in the United States this year, it said. Tennessee had earlier this month reported finding the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H7 in its chickens.

The USDA also said on March 6 that the low pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N2 had been detected amongst 84,000 turkeys in Wisconsin.

Việt Nam, where seven provinces across the country have reported H5N1 and H5N6 bird flu outbreaks among chickens and ducks in recent weeks, has been stepping up measures to prevent the virus from spreading.

Last month, MARD issued warnings on the H7N9 virus, a rare strain first detected in China in March 2013. It infected 460 people in China between September 2016 and February 2017. Việt Nam has not reported any cases of the strain. — VNS



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