Published Date: 2003-05-12 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Influenza H5N1, avian - China: suspected
Archive Number: 20030512.1179
INFLUENZA H5N1, AVIAN - CHINA: SUSPECTED
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003
From: Dick Hamilton <email@example.com>
Source: Reuters via a@ Worldwide, 12 May 2003 [edited]
Japan bans imports of Chinese poultry products
The Japanese government said on Monday it had temporarily banned imports of
poultry products from China after its quarantine office detected the bird
flu virus in imported Chinese duck products. The Agriculture Ministry said
in a statement that the tests on duck products from China had discovered
the H5N1 bird flu virus.
To prevent the virus from entering Japan, the ministry had imposed an
import ban on all poultry products from China, the statement said.
China is one of the top broiler exporters to Japan.
In calendar year 2002, Japan's broiler imports totalled 524 000 tonnes,
including 183 000 tonnes from Thailand, 168 000 tonnes from Brazil, 119 000
tonnes from China, and the remainder mostly from the United States.
A similar ban by Japan in 2001 that lasted for 2 months caused tight supply
on the domestic market, especially for frozen broilers, and contributed to
rising trade tensions between the Asian neighbours.
The ban could also push broiler prices up in Thailand, Brazil and the
United States, traders said.
An outbreak of highly infectious bird flu in the Netherlands has prompted
the slaughter of millions of poultry, and the disease has spread to other
European nations [Belgium and Germany].
There are concerns that the disease could mix with human flu, producing a
strain against which humans have no resistance.
[While veterinary authorities may limit or ban the importation of
potentially HPAI-infected products from infected or suspected countries,
testing for the presence of the virus in imported duck products is not
known to be common; rather, it is an exception. Could the said information
be confirmed? And, if affirmative, what technique has been applied?
Japan's alleged caution can be understood in view of unofficial information
on the incidence of avian influenza H5N1 virus in (mainland) Chinese
poultry, demonstrated by the recording, in February 2003, of cases in humans
upon their return from mainland China to Hong Kong. Though an OIE member
country, China's information on reportable epizootics in her
territories is less than satisfactory. China's annual reports to the OIE
show no data on HPAI -- a list A disease -- in 1996, 1997, or 1998 -- but
see 1998 refs. below. The disease was reported absent in 1999, 2000, and
2001. Data on China's animal health situation during 2002 might become
available during the 71st General Session of the OIE International
Committee, due in Paris on 18-23 May 2003. - Mod.AS]