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NEWS UPDATES 6 March 2010

Thailand asks Japan to lift ban on fresh poultry imports

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Thailand's minister of agriculture and cooperatives, visiting Japan, urged his Japanese counterpart to consider lifting Japan's suspension of Thai fresh chicken import as Thailand has been free from bird flu for more than one year, state news agency TNA reported.

Thai minister Theera Wongsamut met Hirotaka Akamatsu, Japan's minister of agriculture, fisheries and forestry, to explain that Thailand has remained free of avian influenza virus since February 11, 2009.

He asked Japan to consider resuming Thai poultry imports after it banned fresh chicken products since 2004.

The Japanese minister said he would send officials to Thailand to inspect disease control standards and the country's absence of bird flu. Afterward Japan might permit the resumption of Thai poultry imports.

According to the Department of the Disease Control, Thailand reported 25 cases of avian flu with 17 dead during the outbreak between 2004 and 2006.

Meanwhile, during talks with the Thai minister, Mr Akamatsu also agreed that Japan would provide academic assistance on making artificial corals and puffer fish processing to Thailand.

The Japanese Minister also reaffirmed his support for the rice stockpile project of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).


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