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China bans imports of poultry from Manitoba

China has banned all poultry and poultry products from the province of Manitoba in Canada after an outbreak of avian influenza disease on a farm.

A low-pathogenic H5N2 bird flu outbreak was identified on a turkey breeding farm just north of Winnipeg. The case was confirmed on November 25.

Bill Uruski, chair of the Manitoba Turkeys Association, said China was not one of the countries to which Manitoba was sending turkey, while chicken also was not going to the Asian country in significant numbers.

"The impact directly is negligible, but it still raises concerns of the potential for a snowball effect with what's happening," Uruski said. Uruski said he hoped a solution would be found within two or three months, based on what is happening at the farm where the outbreak was found.

"Given that the farm in question is currently going through a cleaning and disinfection period, it's looking like probably the next month or two months it should be completed, and then will be the re-testing by CFIA. So within the next 60-90 days everything should be completed," he said.

As for China's action, he said, "I would suspect that would be the normal reaction, but each government makes its own decision. This was a breeder farm, it wasn't a commercial farm for meat."
Uruski said poultry producers in the province are concerned that with China's ban on product, other countries may follow suit. However, he said they are doing everything they can to make sure that doesn't happen.
"That's why we are following up with CFIA to make sure they are following up with China, to make sure this doesn't become a snowball effect," he said.


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