|February 20, 2004,
just-food.com: Canadian officials have announced
an outbreak of the avian virus has been discovered in
British Colombia. While health officials are still conducting
tests to determine exactly what strain of the flu it is,
they have determined it to be of the same H-7 variety
that has affected U.S. farms.
In response to the news, Japan quickly banned all imports
of Canadian poultry even though the relatively mild
flu bothering U.S. and Canadian chickens is not connected
to the deadly Asian version. The H-7 type of bird flu
is not believed to be transmissible to humans and is
therefore less dangerous than the H5N1 strain that has
killed more than 20 people in Asia.
Canadian health minister Pierre Pettigrew said the
virus had been contained on the British Colombia farm,
and that it appeared to be an isolated incident, reported
the Associated Press.
Japan’s ban on Canadian poultry imports is unlikely
to be a major disruption. Canada exported 67 metric
tons of chicken and chicken products to Japan in fiscal
2002, accounting for less than 1% of Japan’s poultry
imports, the Associated Press said.