Se­na­tors sign let­ter on chicken ex­ports

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - — Nathan Owens

A bi­par­ti­san group of 37 U.S. se­na­tors signed a let­ter Wed­nes­day to Agri­cul­ture Sec­re­tary Sonny Per­due ex­press­ing their sup­port for the re­sump­tion of U.S. chicken ex­ports to China. The Chi­nese mar­ket has been closed since 2015, af­ter a re­ported case of highly path­o­genic avian in­fluenza was found in the U.S.

De­spite a change in reg­u­la­tions from the World Or­ga­ni­za­tion for An­i­mal Health af­ter the de­tec­tion of bird flu in 2015, China con­tin­ues to ban U.S. poul­try.

“We un­der­stand and are en­cour­aged that China has be­gun its an­i­mal health au­dit of the U.S. poul­try in­dus­try,” the let­ter said. “Once this au­dit is com­pleted, we en­cour­age [the U.S. De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture] to re­main dili­gent in seek­ing fi­nal Chi­nese ap­proval for U.S. poul­try’s first suc­cess­ful ship­ment as quickly as pos­si­ble.”

An­nual U.S. poul­try ex­ports to China were val­ued at $71 mil­lion for turkey and $722 mil­lion for chicken be­fore the ban, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Chicken Coun­cil.

Arkansas Sens. John Booz­man and Tom Cot­ton signed the let­ter.

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