March 10, 2017
South Korea has again banned US poultry imports, effective last Monday, March 6, due to bird-flu issues, international news agency Reuters reported.
The ban was imposed after an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza had hit a chicken farm in Tennessee, which was contracted to the US food giant Tyson Foods. It was only in June when South Korea lifted a similar ban imposed early last year.
Korea's agriculture ministry said the ban included imports of live poultry and eggs, adding that heat-treated chicken meat and egg products could still be imported.
The import restriction came at a time when the East Asian country is currently experiencing egg shortage as it has itself been hit by its worst-ever bird flu outbreak.
According to the Reuters report, South Korea has, so far this year, imported around 1,049 tonnes of US eggs, accounting for more than 98% of its total egg imports as of March 3.
With the resumption of the US import ban, South Korea may turn to Brazil, Chile, Australia, Canada, the Philippines and Thailand for supplies of chicken meat.
The report said South Korea sources its live poultry imports from New Zealand, Australia and Canada.