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China bans poultry imports from Thailand
Updated: 2008-12-04 21:26

BEIJING -- China has reimposed a ban on chicken and other poultry imports from Thailand, because of fears they may be contaminated with bird flu virus.

It come only shortly after China removed the ban on October 16.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ) and the Ministry of Agriculture issued a joint announcement Thursday. It said that China will return or destroy all poultry and related products imported from Thailand after October 27 of this year.

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The products delivered before that date will be tested for bird flu virus before they enter the domestic market.

GAQSIQ official admitted that there were poultry products from Thailand that had gone into the market before the government placed the ban, but the number is very limited as the ban was removed only recently, and all products that were released to the market had passed a Customs examination. The official did not reveal specific numbers.

A case involving the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 occurred on a poultry farm in Thailand on October 27. It was confirmed by the country's government and reported to the World Organization for Animal Health on November 10.

Poultry products sent through the mail or carried by travelers are also prohibited in China. They will be returned or destroyed once spotted, according to the announcement.

China is now requiring poultry or related products from Thailand to be sealed on ships, airplanes, trains or other vehicles while passing through or staying in China.