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US Modifies Regulation of Poultry Imports to Keep out Bird Flu

02 December 2014

US - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has issued a Final Rule amending the regulations for the importation of poultry from regions with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).

APHIS, part of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), has issued a final rule amending its regulations for importation of poultry and poultry products from regions where highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is considered to exist.

The final rule amends the interim rule that was made effective and published in the Federal Register in 2011.

The 2011 interim rule prohibited imports of live birds, poultry and hatching eggs, as well as poultry/bird products, from any region where HPAI is considered to exist.

It also placed restrictions on imports of live birds and poultry that have been moved through regions where HPAI is considered to exist, as well as on birds and poultry that have been vaccinated for avian influenza.

In addition, the interim rule updated cooking requirements to specifically include carcases, parts or products of poultry or other birds from regions where HPAI is considered to exist.

This final rule amends the interim rule to allow the importation of live AI-vaccinated zoological birds and poultry and the importation of HPAI-resistant pigeons, doves, and other Columbiform species under certain specific conditions to minimise disease risk.

The rule will also allow avian carcases and products imported as trophies to move to establishments approved to treat them for HPAI.

Avian influenza (AI), commonly known as 'bird flu', is caused by an influenza type A virus. Avian influenza viruses occur naturally in birds. Wild bird species (such as ducks, swans and geese) can carry the viruses but usually do not get sick from them. However, avian influenza in birds is very contagious and can make some domesticated birds (chickens, ducks, quail, pheasants, guinea fowl and turkeys) very sick or even cause death. HPAI virus strains are extremely infectious, usually fatal to domestic poultry and spread rapidly from flock to flock.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

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