Hong Kong has imposed a ban on poultry products from Stanislaus County, Calif., after birds in a layer flock of Japanese quail there tested positive for a low pathogenic form of H5 avian influenza. The outbreak that prompted the ban was reported by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on April 22.

The Hong Kong Food Safety Department has been in contact with U.S. officials about the ban on Stanislaus County poultry, and will continue to monitor the situation, according the news reports.

The trade restriction follows an earlier ban on California poultry, which was implemented by Japan after the discovery of avian influenza in California was made. Bans on California poultry are also in place in Russia, Taiwan and Cuba because the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has agreements with those countries to self-impose trade restrictions in such cases.


APHIS and the California Department of Food and Agriculture continue to conduct a comprehensive epidemiological investigation. Officials learned of the situation after a commercial layer flock of Japanese quail was experiencing increased mortality in the adult laying population. Samples were then submitted for laboratory testing and the specimens were found compatible with low pathogenic H5 avian influenza virus. The farm has been placed under quarantine, and depopulation of adult quail there has started.

The affected layer house contained about 56,000 adult quail. An additional 39,000 quail are were in a brooder house at the farm. There are nine additional houses on the premises that house an estimated total of 21,000 Peking ducks for egg production.