August 26, 2020


Solomon Islands bans poultry product imports from Australia due to avian influenza


Solomon Island's Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL), Biosecurity Department has suspended the import of poultry products from Australia due to an outbreak of a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus at farms in the Australian state of Victoria.

The prohibition covers ratite meat, meat products, byproducts, eggs and egg products, and live birds/chicken.

"There is no vaccine to cure the virus. So, we have to stop importing and also halt issuing of 'Import Permit' to companies and individuals as our first line of defence," Biosecurity Director Francis Tsatsia said.

Tsatsia added that, although avian influenza is not present in Solomon Islands, his department is closely monitoring the situation.

"Infected or contaminated imported chicken can pass the virus to Solomon Islands chicken. Therefore, we are now stepping up inspection and actively monitor all our risk pathways."

The country obtains most of its chicken products from Australia, according to Tsatsia.

- Solomon Star