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Hong Kong suspends import of poultry products from Russia

Hong Kong's food safety authority today decided to suspend the import of poultry products from Omskaya Oblast in Russia due to the bird flu outbreaks there.

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government's Food and Environmental Hygiene department said that in view of notifications from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) about outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza in Omskaya Oblast in Russia, the CFS has instructed the trade to suspend the import of poultry meat and products, including poultry eggs from the area with immediate effect to protect public health in Hong Kong, Xinhua news agency reported.

A CFS spokesman said Hong Kong has currently established a protocol with Russia for the import of poultry meat but not for poultry eggs. According to the Census and Statistics Department of the HKSAR government, Hong Kong imported about 140 tons of frozen poultry meat from Russia in the first six months this year.

"The CFS has contacted the Russian authorities over the issue and will closely monitor information issued by the OIE on the avian influenza outbreaks. Appropriate action will be taken in response to the development of the situation," the spokesman said..