US: Bird flu fears expected to hit poultry exports
Although the deadly H5N1 avian influenza has yet to spread to the US, poultry exports have slumped as demand in countries affected by the disease has declined, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Friday (10 March).
The USDA's update on world market conditions, published monthly, re-evaluated its December prediction of export levels for 2006, reducing the figure by 5.3% to 5.3bn pounds.
Many consumers in countries where bird flu has struck are choosing to steer clear of poultry and poultry products, despite reassurances from health organisations that meat poses no risk if properly cooked.
This bodes badly for the US poultry industry given that about one-third of leg and thigh cuts are sold abroad. The wholesale price of these cuts has plummeted to US$0.14 cents per pound.
Adding to the industry's troubles, the USDA has warned it is not a question of if but when bird flu will reach the US. Many scientists have predicted that H5N1 will be carried into the US by birds migrating from Asia to Alaska in the spring.
Russia's agriculture ministry said that the deadly bird flu virus had been found in a third Siberian province as officials began a mass cull to contain its spread and three ex-Soviet countries imposed...
Indonesia is to slaughter all chickens on farms hit by bird flu in an effort to halt the spread of the virus, the country's agriculture minister said today (Thursday), according to the Guardian newspa...
The key international organisations fighting bird flu have agreed a global strategy preventing the disease spreading worldwide and jumping species to humans....
The Philippines has discovered its first cases of bird flu with infected ducks being found in a town north of the capital, Manila, according to the BBC....
Malaysian poultry products are free of the avian influenza, according to internationally specified rules and codes, and countries should resume their imports without any hesitation, a government minis...
China denied it encouraged farmers to use a drug meant for humans to stop the spread of bird flu in poultry which could render the medicine useless, but said it would investigate, the AFP news agency ...
The first human case of bird flu was identified in Indonesia after a poultry worker tested positive this month, a World Health Organisation (WHO) official said todau (Thursday), reports the Reuters ne...
China's ministry of agriculture today (Thursday) confirmed a bird flu outbreak in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, saying the situation was under control, the Xinhua news agency reported....
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