Poultry imports blocked by Saudi and South Korea

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

US and French poultry suffers bans due to avian inflenza
US and French poultry suffers bans due to avian inflenza

Related tags South korea Japan Human rights Export Livestock Poultry

South Korea has banned imports of US poultry, while Saudi Arabia has embargoed French poultry as pathogenic strains of avian influenza beset the US and France. 

On Monday 18 January, South Korea halted imports of poultry and live chicken from the US just two months after trade was resumed, following the death of 60,000 turkeys on a farm in Indiana.

Two months earlier, South Korea welcomed the return of US and Canadian poultry back to its market after an 11-month ban. But the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed last week that the highly pathogenic H7N8 had been detected in Indiana. South Korea duly blocked US poultry for the second time in two years.

‘Unprecedented’ crisis

In conjunction to South Korea’s US poultry ban, Saudi Arabia has banned imports of poultry, eggs and dairy products from France as the country struggles to cope with what the World Organisation on Animal Health (OIE) described as an “unprecedented”​ bird flu crisis.

According to Business France – an agency promoting French exports – France was one of the most prominent exporters of poultry products to Saudi Arabia in 2013. Business France data also shows that the volume of exported product had risen by 64% since 2009.

Saudi Arabia is the latest in a string of countries to ban French poultry after economic powerhouses including China and Japan imposed a ban on imports back in December 2015.

The other countries to impose a ban on French poultry exports, include Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, South Korea, Thailand and Tunisia.

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