February 12, 2004



Hong Kong Bans US Poultry Imports Following Second Bird Flu Case


Hong Kong has banned the import of all live birds and poultry products from the U.S., following a second confirmed outbreak of bird flu in the eastern U.S. state of Delaware, officials said Wednesday.


"This is a precautionary measure taken to protect public health," the government said in a statement.


Hong Kong had already banned poultry imports from Delaware, where officials slaughtered some 12,000 chickens Friday after confirming a flock was infected by a strain of avian flu different from the one that has spread to humans in Asia.


On Tuesday, Delaware authorities confirmed a second outbreak at a farm at least five miles away from the first one.


Health officials here said they were seeking information from the U.S. - a major supplier of frozen and chilled chicken to Hong Kong - about the latest outbreaks there.


Hong Kong has banned fowl imports from 10 bird flu-affected nations in Asia.