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Ducks imported from China have been found to carry the same strain of bird flu that has caused havoc in Hong Kong since 16 May. The National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, revealed today that all further imports of chickens and ducks from the country have been prohibited.

The 2,655 tons of imported poultry, infected with the high pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus, will now be shipped back to China or destroyed. The service has also ordered the recall of another 1,933 tons of poultry that had been already distributed.

The virus, which has not been found in domestic poultry, is not harmful to humans.