St. Vincent and the Grenadines has placed a temporary ban on the importation of all poultry products from the United Kingdom, the Ministry of Agriculture in Kingstown announced on Thursday.
The Ministry said the ban was imposed as part of measures to prevent the entry of the Avian Influenza Virus to St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The ban was imposed due to information received from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the United Kingdom confirming that the country recently experienced an outbreak of a Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).
“The importation ban is imposed with the immediate effect and applies to all poultry, poultry meat products and processed internal organs of poultry raised, slaughtered or processed in the United Kingdom, from two weeks before the start date of the outbreak, which was confirmed on November 14,” the Ministry said in a statement.
The ban on all poultry products from the United Kingdom will remain in effect until further notice, the statement further said.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) virus — referred to as HPAI H5N1 and sometimes shortened to H5N1 — is a virus that occurs mainly in birds, is highly contagious among birds, and can be deadly to them, especially domestic poultry.
Though relatively rare, sporadic human infections with this virus have occurred and caused serious illness and death, the ministry said.