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Some poultry imports from Canada suspended due to bird flu

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The United States has suspended imports of live and raw poultry from Canada's British Columbia due to an outbreak of bird flu virus there, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief veterinary officer told Reuters on Monday.

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The United States has suspended imports of live and raw poultry from Canada's British Columbia due to an outbreak of bird flu virus there, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief veterinary officer told Reuters on Monday.

The restrictions began on Dec. 4, the same day that Canada identified the virus as the "highly pathogenic" H5N2 strain, said John Clifford, the USDA's chief veterinarian.

Bird flu, or avian influenza, is an infectious viral disease of birds. Most bird flu viruses do not infect humans or pose safety risk when poultry products are properly handled and cooked.

South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan have imposed varying bans on Canadian poultry products due to bird flu.

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Reporting by Tom Polansek.

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