July 21, 2023


Japan temporarily halts chicken imports from Brazil's Santa Catarina state due to avian influenza



Japan has made the decision to suspend imports of chicken from Brazil's Santa Catarina state after the confirmation of a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) case in a backyard chicken, Brazilian meat lobby ABPA said on Monday, Reuters reported.


Last month, Japan had already halted purchases of poultry from Brazil's Espirito Santo state after bird flu was detected at a non-commercial farm in that region. The Brazilian government confirmed the ban and revealed that Agriculture Minister Carlos Favaro will engage in discussions with Japanese authorities regarding poultry product import requirements during his upcoming trip to Japan.


ABPA, representing pork and poultry processors, including companies like JBS SA and BRF SA, clarified that monthly shipments of chicken from Santa Catarina plants to Japan constitute less than 3% of Brazil's total chicken exports.


When Japan imposed the ban on products from Espirito Santo, the lobby group expressed its disagreement, stating that it did not align with the guidelines of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).


Brazil, being the world's largest chicken exporter, has been dealing with outbreaks of HPAI among wild birds since May 15. The country has witnessed numerous similar outbreaks in at least seven states.


Authorities clarify that bans, whether regional or national, would be applicable only if the highly pathogenic virus reaches a commercial farm, which has not happened in Brazil yet.


Santa Catarina is Brazil's second-largest chicken meat processor after Parana, and most major Brazilian food exporters have plants in the state. Additionally, Espirito Santo, known for its significant egg production, reported the first case of bird flu in wild birds approximately two months ago.


-      Reuters

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