US bird flu outbreak triggers import bans
Feb 9, 2004 12:00 PM, from staff and wire reports
Japan temporarily halted all imports of United States poultry after US agriculture officials confirmed an avian influenza (bird flu) outbreak at a Delaware chicken farm. South Korea already has suspended chicken and duck imports from the United States.
Delaware poultry farmers have slaughtered about 12,000 chickens, hoping to contain a strain of the flu identified as H7. According to Michael Scuse, the state's agriculture secretary, H7 is no threat to human health, unlike the strain that has ravaged Asia.
Japan could remove the poultry ban from all but the three US states affected by the bird flu if the latest strain can be proven not to harm humans.
Bird flu has swept through poultry farms in 10 Asian nations and territories, killing 18 people. Governments have destroyed more than 50 million chickens and stopped poultry imports.
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