After case of bird flu, U.S. bars poultry from British Columbia

NATION DIGEST

Nation Digest

November 22, 2005

WASHINGTON -- The United States banned poultry from mainland British Columbia yesterday because of a case of bird flu, though Canadian officials said it wasn't the virulent form in Southeast Asia blamed for more than 60 human deaths.

The governments of Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong indicated they would take similar action.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Sunday that a duck at a commercial poultry farm in British Columbia had tested positive for bird flu. The virus was a low-pathogenic North American form that doesn't kill poultry and is not a threat to people, officials said.

The virulent form of bird flu in Asia has not been found in the U.S. and is only now spreading into Eastern Europe. Authorities there say that cooking kills the virus; health officials in the United States say that eating properly handled and cooked poultry is safe.

Canadian officials plan to report to the United States within 24 hours, according to Canada's chief veterinary officer, Dr. Brian Evans.

Associated Press

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