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Bipartisan Senators Urge USDA To Push China To Lift Poultry Ban

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A bipartisan group of Senators have called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to press the Chinese government to end its ban on import of American poultry products.

China imposed ban on import of U.S. poultry products in 2015 after the detection of a wild duck with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).

37 Senators have signed a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, challenging the ban. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) authored the letter. The ban contradicts World Health Organization for Animal Health standards, they argue.

The letter points out that the reopening of the Chinese market would provide a huge boost for rural communities in the U.S., as poultry industry provides thousands of high quality jobs in these rural areas.

The United States is the largest poultry producer in the world and the second biggest poultry meat exporter, with nearly 18 percent of its product shipped to foreign markets.

The ban prevents Mississippi egg and poultry products from being exported to Chinese markets. Mississippi is the fifth-largest producer of broilers in the U.S., with 736 million chickens worth $2.82 billion produced in 2016. The state also produced more than 1.36 billion eggs last year, valued at $104 million. Mississippi's producers rely on strong export markets for its broilers and eggs produced and processed in the state.

Beijing had lifted a ban on import of beef from the United States last month after the two sides settled the conditions for American exports.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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