(CMR) The Ministry of Education Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands (MEYSAL) announces a temporary restriction on the importation of fresh, chilled and frozen meat from the United Kingdom, the European Unions and the Netherlands effective today (7 December 2020).
“There is currently an outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in sections of Europe. Although it is still a developing situation, the Ministry of Agriculture has temporarily restricted the importation of poultry from affected countries to safeguard our local consumers from infection.”
states Minister of Agriculture Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly.
“The Veterinary team in the Department of Agriculture has already informed relevant importers about these restrictions, and Agricultural Health Inspection Service (AHIS) Officers will continue to monitor imports closely, Minister O’Connor-Connolly continued.
MEYSAL further advises that the ban will not affect the importation of products already treated to destroy the virus, such as canned poultry products and those in airtight containers.
According to Farmers Weekly, there have been two outbreaks of the highly pathogenic avian influenza at two turkey farms in Norfolk. That news comes after it was also confirmed over the weekend that several other farms had an outbreak. Nine cases of avian influenza in poultry or other captive birds have been confirmed in England this year.
The last outbreak was in 2016/17.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) multiple European countries including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK have already reported outbreaks of the HPAI viruses.
They have reported that whilst the avian influenza virus is not unusual the “highly pathogenic” causes immense concern. Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) A viruses tend to be relatively harmless, often causing no disease. HPAI viruses are much more likely to make birds very sick and even kill them.
As of November 19 at 12 pm, testing of birds in Europe has found HPAI viruses 302 times. Most of those detections, 281 of them, have been in wild birds with the barnacle goose being the most common host, yielding 110 positive tests. The greylag goose came in second place with 47, followed by the Eurasian wigeon, the mallard, and the common buzzard as well as captive poultry.