The Hong Kong food safety authority said on Thursday that it has banned the import of poultry meat and products from a prefecture in southwestern Japan following an outbreak of bird flu.
Following a notification from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) about an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N6 avian influenza in Miyazaki Prefecture of Japan, it has banned the import of poultry meat and products, including poultry eggs, from the prefecture, said the Center for Food Safety (CFS) of Hong Kong's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.
The ban, with immediate effect, aims to protect public health in Hong Kong, the CFS said.
A farm in Miyazaki reported earlier this week that some 100 chickens had been found dead, five of which and two live ones were found positive for bird flu in a preliminary test.
Miyazaki prefecture kept about 27.4 million broiler chickens as of February, the largest number in Japan's 47 prefectures, according to Japanese government data.
A CFS spokesman said that in the first 10 months of this year, Hong Kong imported about 6,000 tons of frozen poultry meat and 40.6 million poultry eggs from Japan.
"The CFS has contacted the Japanese authorities over the issue and will closely monitor information issued by the OIE on avian influenza outbreaks in the country. Appropriate actions will be taken in response to the development of the situation," the spokesman said.