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S. Korea bans poultry imports from U.S. on AI

All Headlines 14:07 December 21, 2014

SEOUL, Dec. 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Sunday it has banned imports of all poultry products, including live birds, from the United States following an outbreak of a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza (AI) at one of its chicken farms.

The ban, effective as of Saturday, affects inbound shipments of any live birds and eggs, as well as poultry products that have not been heated over 30 minutes at a temperature of higher than 70 degrees Celsius within the past 21 days, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said.

The move came after the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported an outbreak of AI in Oregon to the World Organization for Animal Health on Thursday. The H5N8 strain of AI is known to have a maximum incubation period of 21 days.

South Korea has been one of the growing major consumers of U.S. poultry goods, importing 62,595 tons of chicken through November, more than the 44,129 tons for the whole of last year.

"The local production of chicken rose 17.5 percent on-year in 2014, and the amount of inventory also stands at 9,000 tons," a ministry official said. "There will be no problem in the supply of chicken as we are also importing it from Brazil and Thailand."

colin@yna.co.kr
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