Canadian pork likely safe, UK farm agency says

Wed May 13, 2009 4:31pm EDT
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Canadian pigs and pork are unlikely to spread the new H1N1 flu virus and are safe to import, Britain's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said on Wednesday.

"We continue to consider that there would be a negligible likelihood of introducing new variant influenza A (H1N1) to the U.K. by the legal import of pigs or pig products from Canada," DEFRA said in a statement.

"The current EU trade rules for live pigs and pig products are considered appropriate to mitigate the risk of disease introduction."

A Canadian herd of pigs was infected last month with the new swine flu virus now circulating among people in more than 30 countries, but the DEFRA report suggested this was a once-only event.

(Reporting by Maggie Fox, Editing by John O'Callaghan)