Home>News Center>China

China bans bird imports from flu-hit countries
(AFP/China Daily)
Updated: 2006-02-21 06:57

China has banned the import of pet and wild birds from countries hit by the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu, as authorities try to prevent a large-scale new outbreak this spring.

The government in Beijing announced the import ban in an emergency circular on Monday, ordering that inspections be stepped up at ports to keep infected wild birds and pets from entering the country, the Xinhua news agency said.

Licenses previously issued for the import of such birds from flu-affected countries have been revoked, Xinhua said.

The move came after France became the sixth European Union country to confirm an H5N1 case and as Nigeria confirmed that the virulent bird flu strain had spread to three new states and the capital Abuja.

China has itself reported 34 outbreaks of the virus in poultry since the beginning of last year, with most occurring since October. Twelve human cases have been reported, eight of them fatal.

The government on Monday ordered port officials to screen passengers from flu-hit countries who show symptoms such as fever or coughing, and also called for better screening of luggage to prevent the smuggling of pet birds.

Any birds from countries with recorded H5N1 cases that are brought illegally into China will be slaughtered, Xinhua said.

Earlier, Agriculture Minister Du Qinglin called for better flu prevention measures nationwide, saying many parts of northern China were facing a "serious threat" because of the imminent return of migratory birds in the spring.

The disease has had a dramatic impact on the world's biggest poultry industry, which produces 14 billion birds annually.

World Health Organization (WHO) experts have said the virus is "endemic" in parts of China, and that the country's poultry flocks remain vulnerable to infection.

Despite attempting to vaccinate every chicken in China, the government announced last November that 21.1 million birds were slaughtered in efforts to contain the disease.
Page: 12

Hu, Musharraf meet
New semester starts in China
President Hu meets with Musharraf; Agreements inked
  Today's Top News     Top China News

Musharraf: We'll bring killers of three Chinese to justice



Nations 'benefit from China's growth'



Premier guarantees change in rural areas



China bans bird imports from flu-hit countries



Green regulation punishes misconduct



Sino-EU energy ties strengthened


  China, Pakistan sign sweeping agreements
  Methadone therapy to curb spread of AIDS
  50% of pandas funded by individuals, private sector
  China faces uphill task on job creation in 2006
  This year will see end of power shortages
  China: Stable energy supplies a priority
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.