Hong Kong has announced the suspension of poultry meat and products, including eggs, from some regions of the US as a precaution against the spread of bird flu.

Its ban affects imports from the states of Michigan and Texas.

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of Hong Kong’s Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said in a statement it had made the move in view of a notification from the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) about outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza in Ionia County in Michigan and Parmer County in Texas.

“The CFS has contacted the American authority over the issue and will closely monitor information issued by the WOAH and the relevant authorities on the avian influenza outbreaks. Appropriate action will be taken in response to the development of the situation,” a spokesperson said.

It said the aim of the suspension, which takes effect immediately, is to protect public health in Hong Kong.

The CFS spokesperson said that according to the Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong imported about 37,770 tonnes of chilled and frozen poultry meat and about 83.84 million poultry eggs from the US last year.

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Last week, US eggs giant Cal-Maine Foods announced it had ceased production at a site in Texas temporarily following the detection of avian influenza.

The site in Parmer County “tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI)”, Cal-Maine said in a statement.

The test resulted “in [the] depopulation of approximately 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets, or approximately 3.6% of the company’s total flock as of 2 March”.

In its third-quarter results announcement Cal-Maine revealed another of its plants – this one in Kansas – had also been hit with HPAI during the three months to 2 March.