MAF bans Australian meat imports to protect against avian flu

APIA, SAMOA – The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has banned the importation of certain meat products from Australia to protect against the avian influenza.

A public notice issued today said that due to the potential spread of the avian influenza virus across the states of Australia, the importation of all avian and ratite meat, meat products, by-products, eggs, egg products, live birds, and animal reproductive materials from Australia is now banned until further notice.

The ban means all import permits issued for the named products originating from Australia will be suspended until further notice and the named products currently in transit from Australia will possibly be incinerated or reshipped back to Australia.

This public notice is issued pursuant to section 33 and 58 of the Quarantine (Biosecurity) Act 2005 and in conjunction with the Ministry’s efforts to stop the introduction into Samoa of avian influenza virus.

The Ministry appreciates the public’s cooperation to keep Samoa free from this highly pathogenic livestock virus.

Avian influenza refers to the disease caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses. These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Avian flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with avian flu viruses have occurred.

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