UPDATE 1-Taiwan, Japan ban Ontario poultry over Canada bird flu

Tue Apr 7, 2015 4:57pm EDT
 
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(Adds detail on bird deaths, trade restrictions, Maple Leaf Foods comments)

By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, April 7 (Reuters) - Japan and Taiwan have imposed trade restrictions on poultry and poultry products from Ontario, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said on Tuesday, a day after bird flu was confirmed in the Canadian province.

The government agency said a turkey farm near Woodstock, Ontario, was under quarantine after the presence of H5 avian influenza was confirmed there on Monday. It said seven other farms nearby were also under quarantine.

About 7,500 birds have died at the first farm, and the remaining 4,500 in the infected barn are scheduled to be killed on Wednesday.

Ontario is Canada's biggest turkey-producing province.

Avian flu was detected in December in the western province of British Columbia and has spread to numerous U.S. states, from Minnesota to California.

CFIA vice-president of policy and programs Paul Mayers said the agency was testing to confirm the subtype and pathogenicity of the Ontario virus, with results expected within days.

Taiwan and Japan are small markets for Canada, totalling about C$9 million in sales last year. But trade restrictions also remain in place from 10 other countries over the British Columbia outbreak, including Australia and Brazil.

Bird flu's spread has not affected sales at Maple Leaf Foods , which processes poultry in Ontario mainly for domestic use, spokesman Dave Bauer said. (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Chris Reese and David Gregorio)