China lifts its import ban on animal products from Denmark, France, Germany and United Kingdom

China has confirmed that it is lifting its import ban introduced 4 years ago on bovine & ovine genetic material from Denmark, France, Germany and United Kingdom due to Schmallenberg virus.

The decision – preceded with joint efforts of various Commission services and EU Member States – was announced by the Chinese Minister of Agriculture Minister HAN Changfu during the visit of EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan to China this week. The decision was announced by the Chinese Minister of Agriculture Minister HAN Changfu. The Commission welcomes the lifting of this ban that should allow now for real trade starting to take place rapidly and looks forward to seeing China opening its market for these safe products from the rest of the EU in the near future.

In May 2012, China introduced an import ban on imports of bovine semen, bovine embryo, ovine semen and ovine embryo produced after 1 June 2011 from several EU countries, referring to an alleged risk of Schmallenberg virus (SBV) which can cause birth defects and stillbirths in cattle, sheep, and goats. This measure went beyond the international standards set by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), which considers that the virus does not meet the OIE requirements for setting an international standard, meanings therefore that trade measures for this disease are not required.

(Source: DG Sante website)

Bird flu outbreaks in China – Update 11.01.14

On 3rd January 2014 the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) notified to the Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N1).

The outbreak started on 27th December 2013 in the village of Yijue, Guizhou, where 8.500 birds died and 23.067 chickens were culled to prevent the disease from spreading. The outbreak is ongoing and the causes are at the moment unknown. There will be weekly report to the OIE from the Chinese Authorities. All safety measures were applied, such as quarantine, movement control inside the country, screening, zoning and disinfection of infected premises/establishment.

On 21st December 2013 there were another outbreak of bird flu H5N2 in a Zhuzhuang village: 4.000 birds died and 127.500 culled by Authorities.

The bird flu in China is far from being under control.

Update 7.01.14

The Chinese Authorities confirmed a case of H7N9 in a sample taken from a live animal in a poultry market in the Guangdong province, where the sell of poultry is now stopped.

In the region there was a cluster of human cases. A 47 year-old man, poultry worker from Foshan, and a 71 year-old man are in critical conditions. The WHO confirmed also two cases in December and an 80 year-old man died on 26 December 2013, but in different regions from Guangdong