May 28, 2024


US imposes import restrictions on poultry from Victoria, Australia due to bird flu


The United States has imposed import restrictions on certain poultry and byproducts from Victoria, Australia, following the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu) in domestic birds, Reuters reported.


The US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that these restrictions, effective from May 22, 2024, will remain in place until further notice.


Unprocessed avian products and byproducts originating from or transiting through the State of Victoria will be prohibited from entering the US. Additionally, imports of poultry, commercial birds, ratites, and hatching eggs have been banned. Pet and zoo birds may still be imported under an import permit, subject to a 30-day quarantine.


Earlier this week, a highly contagious strain of bird flu was detected on an egg farm in Australia.


The avian influenza has also spread to humans and other mammal species, including among US dairy cattle in March, raising concerns about the virus mutating into a form that is transmissible between humans and potentially causing a pandemic. However, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the risk to the public remains low.


Since 2022, bird flu in the US has infected more than 90 million chickens, 9,000 wild birds, 52 dairy herds, and three people.


In April, Colombia became the first country to restrict the import of beef and its products from US states where dairy cows had tested positive for bird flu, indicating a broadening economic impact of the virus.


Victoria was the site of an H7N7 outbreak in 2020, the most recent of Australia's nine bird flu outbreaks since 1976. According to the Australian government, all previous outbreaks were quickly controlled and eradicated.


-      Reuters

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