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Guam reinstates ban on poultry imports



By Pacific Island Times News Staff


The Guam Department of Agriculture's Animal Health Division has reinstated the ban on all live poultry imports and hatching eggs effective immediately,

in response to a new surge in cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the mainland United States,


“As we confront the latest updates on highly pathogenic avian influenza, it is imperative to recognize its multifaceted impact," said Dr. Mariana Turner, territorial veterinarian.


As of this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has reported an increase of over 3 million birds affected by the avian flu virus.


Besides threatening the livelihoods of the U.S. poultry industry, the avian flu outbreak has also impacted the dairy cattle industry and caused occasional human illness and in severe cases, even death, Turner said.


"Our vigilance and collaboration are paramount as we navigate these challenging times, prioritizing both animal and human welfare in our efforts to mitigate this global threat,” she added.

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 On March 1, 2022 and Nov. 29, 2023, the department implemented a temporary partial ban on poultry imports due to the virus outbreak.


"With recent detections of the Eurasian H5 strain of HPAI in domestic poultry in the United States, USDA APHIS is working closely with State partners on surveillance, reporting, and control efforts," the department said in a press release.

 

The latest spike in HPAI cases resulted in the slaughter of nearly 2 million chickens – 1.6 million hens and 337,000 young hens.


Based on the latest USDA APHIS HPAI detection report, this has prompted an increased concern about an ongoing resurgence of avian influenza.


On Guam, the DOAG Animal Health Division said the poultry import ban will remain in place until the spread of the virus decreases once again.

 

"This temporary ban applies to live poultry and hatching eggs originating from the mainland U.S. only, as there is no perceived threat from poultry commodities such as meat and eggs for consumption," the agency said


Officials said poultry imports from Hawaii remain unaffected and continue to be accepted.


"The USDA has issued a reminder that the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees   Fahrenheit kills bacteria and viruses," the department said.




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