Kuwait has lifted its ban on imports of poultry from the United States. The ban had been put in place earlier in 2015 in response to the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) that hit the United States.
However, no new cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza have been confirmed since June and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has stated that the U.S. can now declare itself free of H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza.
The lifting of the trade restrictions followed several rounds of discussions regarding the ban between embassies between the two countires. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe also took part in the discussions.
“Today’s announcement marks another victory for Virginia agriculture in the global marketplace,” McAuliffe stated. “I want to thank the Kuwait Embassy to the U.S., the U.S. Embassy to Kuwait, U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Services staff, and many others for the efforts to have the ban lifted. I’m hopeful that Kuwait’s action will allow Virginia’s poultry exporters to quickly take advantage of the opportunity for more sales into a growing export region.”
Several other countries have lifted avian influenza-related bans on U.S. poultry, with Oman being one of the most recent. It was announced in late November that Oman lifted its ban on all U.S. poultry imports.