The food safety authority of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) announced Tuesday the suspension of poultry meat import from areas of the United States, France and Mexico.
The Center for Food Safety (CFS) of the HKSAR government's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said that the import suspension was ordered in view of notifications from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) about an outbreak of low pathogenic H7N1 avian influenza in Hopkins County, State of Texas in the United States (US), an outbreak of low pathogenic H5N3 avian influenza in Finistère Department in France, and outbreaks of highly pathogenic H7N3 avian influenza in Guanajuato State and Queretaro State of Mexico.
The CFS has instructed the trade to suspend the import of poultry meat and products, including poultry eggs, from the above areas with immediate effect to protect public health in Hong Kong, it said.
Hong Kong last year imported about 290,000 tons of chilled and frozen poultry meat and 580 million poultry eggs from the United States and 14,000 tons of chilled and frozen poultry meat and 7.6 million poultry eggs from France, according to a CFS spokesman.
Hong Kong has currently established a protocol with Mexico for import of poultry meat but not for poultry eggs. Hong Kong imported 100 tons of frozen poultry meat from Mexico last year, the spokesman said.
"The CFS has contacted the U.S., French and Mexican authorities over the issues and will closely monitor information issued by the OIE on avian influenza outbreaks. Appropriate actions will be taken in response to the development of the situation," the spokesman said.