FAO warns against countries imposing arbitrary poultry import bans
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said countries that implement blanket bans on poultry imports in response to avian influenza will be in violation of both the spirit of the World Trade Organization and World Organization for Animal Health standards.
The FAO said some import bans are imposed on countries that are currently free of the highly pathogenic bird flu, also known as H5N1. The UN organization warned these bans are “increasing the vulnerability to international global markets to price shocks.”
“Trade restrictions to safeguard human and animal health should be imposed only in proportion to the risk involved and that they should be removed promptly when no longer needed,” the FAO said.
The FAO also said poultry exporting countries should immediately report any incidence of the disease to all trading partners, and take the necessary steps to limit the disease’s spread.
According to the FAO, avian influenza is not a food-borne disease, and that the virus is killed by the heat of normal cooking. “There is no risk of getting avian influenza from properly cooked poultry and eggs,” the FAO said.