China's temporary bans on the imports of pigs and pork products from some regions hit by the A-strain influenza are in line with the rules of the World Trade Organizations (WTO), Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said Tuesday.
China's emergency measures, to safeguard its stock industry and human health from the A/H1N1 virus, are also in accordance with the rules of the World Organization for Animal Health, Ma told a regular press conference.
There are WTO rules that allow its members to take strict quarantine measures in emergencies, Ma said when asked about China's ban on pig and pork imports from Canada's Alberta province, where some pigs were found to have been infected with the virus.
According to Canadian media reports, the Philippines, El Salvador, Honduras, Ukraine and other countries have stopped accepting all pork products from Canada, the world's No. 3 pork exporter following the United States and European Union.
China has also banned imports of pigs from the affected regions in the United States and Mexico, the epicenter of the disease that has infected 1,085 people in 21 countries and killed a total of 23, with 22 in Mexico and one in the United States.
"China's measures meet the requirements of Chinese laws and regulations...as well as the principle of minimizing the strict quarantine measures' influence on trade," Ma said.
The WHO has decided to remain its pandemic alert level at Phase 5, saying it had no clear plan to raise it to Phase 6, the highest level which means a full pandemic is occurring.