Singapore suspends poultry imports from parts of Tennessee, Wisconsin due to avian flu

Channel NewsAsia 7 Mar 17;

SINGAPORE: The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has suspended the imports of poultry, poultry products, processed eggs and live birds from parts of the US states of Tennessee and Wisconsin, after reports that premises there had been affected by avian flu.

In a statement on Tuesday (Mar 7), AVA said it had suspended imports from Lincoln County in Tennessee and a 10km restricted area around affected premises in Barron County, Wisconsin. Only processed poultry products such as pasteurised eggs and canned chicken products, which have been heat treated to eliminate the bird flu virus, are excluded from the suspension.

Accredited establishments from unaffected areas are not hit by the suspension, it added.

"AVA is in regular communication with authorities in the USA on the bird flu situation and will continue to monitor the developments closely. AVA would like to reassure the public that poultry in Singapore are free from highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and are safe for consumption," the agency said.

Since 2016, there has been no import of chicken from Tennessee, USA. Import of poultry from Wisconsin is also "negligible" at less than 0.1 per cent for processed chicken, AVA said.

The US Department of Agriculture said on Sunday that a farm in southern Tennessee that is a supplier to Tyson Foods had been infected with avian flu. All 73,500 birds there were killed by the disease, while the remaining have since been suffocated with foam to prevent its spread.

The outbreak raised concerns among chicken companies because the infected farm is located near the biggest-producing states for chicken meat, including Georgia and Alabama.

US trading partners, including South Korea and Japan, had earlier restricted shipments of US poultry because of the infection in Tennessee.

- CNA/kk

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