Senators sign letter on chicken exports
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.