Source Pravda.Ru

Poultry from British Columbia banned in U.S.

The United States banned poultry from mainland British Columbia because of a case of bird flu, though Canadian officials said it wasn't the virulent form in Southeast Asia blamed for more than 60 human deaths.

The governments of Taiwan and Japan indicated they would take similar action.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Sunday that a duck at a commercial poultry farm in British Columbia had tested positive for bird flu. The virus was a low-pathogenic North American form that doesn't kill poultry and is not a threat to people.

"We're waiting to get more information from Canada, at which point we could be able to scale back" the ban, said U.S. Agriculture Department spokesman Jim Rogers. "We just need that information."

The virulent form of bird flu in Asia has not been found in the U.S. and is only now spreading into eastern Europe. Authorities there say that cooking kills the virus; health officials in the U.S. say that eating properly handled and cooked poultry is safe.

Canadian officials plan to report to the U.S. within 24 hours, according to Canada's chief veterinary officer, Brian Evans.

Depending on the results, the U.S. could restrict imports from a smaller, regional area.

The farm with the infected duck, in Chilliwack outside of Vancouver, isn't licensed to export. Authorities have begun killing about 56,000 birds on the farm with carbon dioxide gas and have quarantined four other farms within three miles of the area.

An outbreak of bird flu in 2004 in British Columbia prompted the killing of 17 million birds, the AP reports.

V.Y.

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