Jamaica has imposed an immediate import restriction on poultry products from the United States and Canada in light of reports of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, or bird flu, in its northern neighbors.
All poultry, poultry products and by-products not fully cooked originating in Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Minnesota, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington in the USA and British Columbia, Canada, are under restriction, according to a government release available on Friday.
The release, issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, said the measures are intended to safeguard the country's poultry and public health though there is no immediate food safety risk in the island and the consumption of properly cooked poultry meat and poultry products remains safe.
In addition, the ministry has also engaged major players in the poultry industry and has been communicating with importers, Jamaica Customs Agency and the Ministry of Health on the matter.
"Further engagement will involve backyard and small scale poultry operators, egg farmers, pet bird owners, pet stores and all other stakeholders to ensure full cooperation on the part of everyone," the release said
Jamaica is the second Caribbean country who restricts poultry import from bird flu-infected areas, following Barbados, whose ban has been in effect since early last month.