Saint Lucia has temporarily restricted the importation of poultry from the United Kingdom, and Europe, citing the Avian Influenza outbreaks.
The Veterinary & Livestock Services Division of the Ministry of Agriculture informed local importers of the measure in a letter dated November 26, 2020.
The letter noted that the division had clearly monitored and evaluated the current situation on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreaks in Europe and the UK in particular.
It said that as a result, a temporary restriction has been placed on the importation of fresh, chilled and frozen poultry meat from the UK and Europe with immediate effect.
The restriction also applies to the importation of live birds and hatchling eggs from the UK.
According to the Veterinary and Livestock Division, processed poultry stored in hermetically sealed containers and treated to destroy the HPAI virus can be imported.
But it must be accompanied by an International Veterinary Health Certificate issued by the United Kingdom Veterinary Authority, attesting that it was so treated.
The Veterinary and Livestock Division says it will continue to monitor the situation and advise of any further developments.
According to the United States Centres for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Asian HPAI H5N1 viruses have infected the respiratory tract of humans, causing severe illness such as pneumonia and respiratory failure and death in some people.