Local & Regional News
5:33 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

USDA Says China Stopping Imports Of Arkansas Fowl

Federal agriculture officials have told members of Arkansas' congressional delegation that China has stopped imports of the state's poultry products.

Sen. Mark Pryor decried Tuesday's decision, saying an "isolated incident" led to the ban. Pryor didn't say what the incident was, but birds on a Scott County farm tested positive for a low-pathogenic strain of avian flu in June.

Pryor said Arkansas poultry products are "safe, healthy and nutritious" and that his family would continue to eat them.

The USDA had a statement on its website that said Arkansas exports to China were stopped effective July 22.

Pryor spokesman Michael Teague said Tuesday the USDA contacted members of the state's congressional delegation about the ban.

Arkansas is the nation's second-largest poultry producer. Pryor said he hopes for a quick resolution.

Below is the full statement Pryor released late Tuesday afternoon:

This was an isolated incident, and China is being unfair by banning poultry imports from our entire state. Our products are safe, healthy, and nutritious. I’ll be working with food safety and trade officials to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and reopen this market for our farmers. In the meantime, my family and I will continue to eat Arkansas poultry, and I know others in our state will do the same.