SINGAPORE – In response to recent bird flu outbreaks in Japan and several European countries, Singapore has temporarily suspended the import of raw poultry and poultry products from specific regions.
The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) issued circulars on last Friday (8 Dec), notifying meat and egg traders of the immediate restrictions.
Japanese Poultry Ban
The temporary ban specifically targets raw poultry imports from four prefectures in Japan, namely Saga and Kagoshima in the Kyushu region, and Ibaraki and Saitama in the Kanto region. The ban was implemented between 25 November and 3 December following the detection of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus at poultry farms in Saga and Ibaraki.
Japan reported its first case of HPAI this season on November 24, originating from a poultry farm in Saga. Subsequently, on 27 November, another case was identified in the eastern prefecture of Ibaraki. These incidents come on the heels of Japan’s worst bird flu outbreak during the previous season, which commenced in October 2022.
During the last outbreak, a staggering 17.7 million poultry birds were culled, leading to a significant reduction in poultry and egg supplies. The widespread culling also resulted in a surge in prices, with local governments and farmers grappling with the challenge of finding suitable land for the disposal of a large number of culled chickens.
Global Concerns and Additional Restrictions
The bird flu concerns extend beyond Japan, with other countries such as the United States, Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany reporting recent HPAI outbreaks.
In response, Singapore has extended its temporary poultry import restrictions to these countries as well, as indicated in additional circulars from the SFA.
SFA emphasized its commitment to working with various stakeholders in the food industry to diversify sources of commonly consumed food, including chicken. It noted that this proactive approach aims to mitigate the impact of disruptions from any single source, allowing importers to turn to alternative sources and maintain the stability of Singapore’s food supply.
Ensuring Poultry Safety
According to SFA data from 2022, Singapore approved 30 countries as sources of poultry, including chicken, duck, turkey, goose, and quail. Brazil, Malaysia, and the United States top the list as Singapore’s main sources of chicken.
As part of this accreditation, SFA monitors global outbreaks of HPAI and will take swift measures to suspend affected sources. The agency also conducts inspections of local poultry farms and slaughterhouses, imposing biosecurity measures to prevent contact between wild birds and poultry flocks. Imported live poultry and local farm poultry undergo regular testing for avian influenza.
Minimizing Risks and World Health Organization’s Statement
While the World Health Organization (WHO) Chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has stated that the risk of transmission to humans is low, precautionary measures are recommended. People are advised not to touch dead or sick wild animals.
To minimize the risk of contracting bird flu, SFA advises consumers to cook poultry thoroughly, wash hands with soap after handling raw poultry products, and avoid contact with wild birds and live poultry when overseas.
Singapore to invest S$100M in upgrading broadband network to 10Gbps
Draft imposed by Myanmar’s military junta raises alarm, UN expert calls for action
ASEAN parliamentarians voice concern over Indonesian election integrity
ECDA imposes S$10,000 fine on Kinderland for child management lapses
LTA apprehends four drivers for illegal cross-border chauffeur services
COE prices slide in latest tender, commercial vehicle premiums rise
“SING FOR PALESTINE” private event scheduled for 25 February in Singapore
Malaysian govt warns of ‘brain drain’ as skilled workers seek opportunities abroad
HDB unveils 4,000+ BTO flats in first 2024 sale
29,000 nurses to receive up to S$100,000 in MOH’s new retention scheme
Malaysian ringgit hits new low, RM3.56 to Singapore dollar
Jack Ma’s wife reportedly acquires three Duxton Road shophouses for S$50M
Singapore2 weeks ago
PM Lee encourages more births in the year of the dragon amid declining fertility rates
Singapore1 week ago
Singapore surpasses nursing recruitment target in 2023 amidst high attrition rates
Featured7 days ago
PA surveys community & govt confidence amid pending general election
Comments1 week ago
PAP Marcus Loh accuses WP’s MP of alleged dishonesty on debate about reserves
Civil Society1 week ago
Singaporeans stand firm in support for Palestine amidst police scrutiny
Civil Society5 days ago
At least 9 individuals summoned by police over Palestine solidarity activities on 2 Feb
Community1 week ago
Connectivity struggles in Tengah town prompt online user discussion
International1 week ago
Singapore Police investigate two events amid Israel’s genocide in Gaza