HONG KONG, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- The food safety authority of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) announced on Monday a ban on the import of poultry meat and eggs from a province of Italy.
In view of a notification from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) about an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza in the Province of Padua in Italy, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) of the HKSAR government's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has banned the import of poultry meat and products, including poultry eggs, from the province, the CFS said.
The ban, with immediate effect, aims to protect public health in Hong Kong, it added.
A CFS spokesman said that in the first six months of this year, Hong Kong imported about 1,000 tons of frozen poultry meat and 10,000 poultry eggs from Italy.
"The CFS has contacted the Italian authorities over the issue and will closely monitor information issued by the OIE on avian influenza outbreaks. Appropriate action will be taken in response to the development of the situation," the spokesman said.