Monday, February 05, 2007

Bird flu affects UK trade

Source: “Russia, Japan ban British poultry” - Reuters

A recent outbreak of the deadly bird flu—Britain’s first—has prompted a few of its major trading partners—Russia and Japan—to implement a ban on poultry and poultry related imports from the UK. The pathogenic H5N1 strain—one of the deadliest variants of bird flu—spread throughout a farm run by Europe’s largest turkey producer.

Experts are striving to find the source of the infection, but speculate it came from wild birds. Officials have stated the risk to public health is low, and that, when properly cooked, poultry and eggs are safe to consume.

While export sales will definitely be affected by bans such as those in Russia and Japan, UK domestic sales of poultry products remain stable. Meanwhile, EU officials warn tha “[w]e should never feel that we are safe” from the bird flu, as the deadly virus continues to crop up.

- Is it more important to feel safe from the bird flu in order to not disrupt trade, or to be on vigilant guard against infection?

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