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Malaysia freezes chicken import from China to prevent H7N9 infection


19:25, April 26, 2013

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia has temporarily frozen import of chicken products from China as a precautious measure against the H7N9 avian influenza, officials said Friday.

Department of Veterinary Services director-general Abd Aziz Jamaluddin of the Agricultural Ministry said his department has issued order to detain all containers of chicken products imported from China for tests, following the first H7N9 case reported in China's Shandong province on April 22.

Malaysia currently imports around 20,000 to 22,000 metric tonnes of frozen deboned chicken meat annually from two largest plants based in Shandong, and 4,800 metric tonnes of such chicken products were imported in the first three months this year, according to an official statement.

Meanwhile, all applications to import chicken products from China are temporarily frozen, Abd Aziz said.

Malaysia has effective mechanism of cooperation with China, neighbouring countries, the World Health Organization and research institutes worldwide to prevent the H7N9 from hitting Malaysia, he added.

He stressed that all the measures taken are for precautious purpose. "We cannot take chance... but we don't want to be seen as sending alarms to the public," he said.

No H7N9 cases were reported in Malaysia so far.

23 were killed and a total of 108 H7N9 cases reported since the outbreak of the new subtype of avian flu, according to the Wednesday update of China's National Health and Family Planning Commission.

Latest development of H7N9 in China[Special]

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