WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2015 – The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) says China’s ban on U.S. poultry and egg imports is a “clear violation” of international trade rules and will hurt American poultry and egg producers.
China’s ban was effective Jan. 8. The country acted after the USDA in mid-December confirmed two findings of highly pathogenic avian influenza in wild birds in Washington state and in a small backyard poultry flock in Oregon. More than 20 other countries have imposed restrictions on poultry imports from certain states or the entire country.
AFBF President Bob Stallman said World Organization for Animal Health guidelines allow countries to place trade restrictions on geographic regions of concern, but not on an entire nation.
“China’s restrictions against all U.S. poultry and eggs is simply unwarranted,” Stallman said in a statement.
The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council said China imported almost $272 million in U.S. poultry products in the first 11 months of 2014, mostly chicken feet and turkey meat.
Stallman said AFBF, the nation’s biggest farmer organization, is ready to support the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office and USDA in their efforts to get China to lift its ban as quickly as possible.
USDA has stressed that the strains of bird flu found in the Pacific Northwest have not been found in any commercial flock and that there is no public health concern.
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