Chief Veterinary Officer, Veterinary Services Department, Dr. Mark Trotman. (FP)

The importation of live birds, poultry, and poultry products from the United States of America and Canada has been temporarily suspended by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Security.

Chief Veterinary Officer, Veterinary Services Department, Dr. Mark Trotman, has issued a ban on poultry, and poultry products from these two North American countries, due to an outbreak of a new strain of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza virus, commonly referred to as “bird flu”.

Dr. Trotman said there is potential for this strain of the virus to affect people, especially those who interact or work with infected birds, or potentially infected mammals.

“As with most diseases that are not present in this area, the best protection is strengthening quarantine measures,” he noted, stating that these will be implemented with immediate effect.

They are:

  • Permits for all personal imports of live birds, hatching eggs and all poultry products (fresh, frozen, and chilled) from the USA and Canada are suspended until further notice.
  • Any personal permits previously issued for the above are being revoked.
  • Only fully cooked poultry products in hermetically sealed packages (cans) will be permitted.
  • Safe poultry products for importation must be heat-treated, dried and canned; such products include feathers and dry/canned dog food.

Dr. Trotman added that these restrictions do not apply to commercial imports, since those products would be officially certified by the appropriate veterinary authorities as having originated from disease-free areas only, and therefore safe to import and consume.

The Veterinary Services will continue to monitor the developing situation of this disease and issue updates to the public as necessary.

fabian.belgrave@barbados.gov.bb

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