STC Number - 50

Quarantine requirements for chicken meat

Maintained by: Australia
Raised by: Thailand
Supported by: European Union
First date raised: September 1998 G/SPS/R/12, paras. 42-45
Dates subsequently raised: October 2001 (G/SPS/R/25, para. 37)
June 2002 (G/SPS/R/27, paras. 135-137)
November 2002 (G/SPS/R/28, paras. 190-192)
April 2003 (G/SPS/R/29, paras. 60-62)
June 2003 (G/SPS/R/30, paras. 54-56)
Number of times subsequently raised: 5
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/AUS/72, G/SPS/GEN/90, G/SPS/GEN/96, see also G/SPS/R/13, G/SPS/GEN/137 and G/SPS/W/107/Rev.1
Products covered: 0207 Meat and edible offal, of the poultry of heading 01.05, fresh, chilled or frozen.
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In September 1998, Thailand stated that Australia's requirement for the importation of chicken meat was in excess of what was needed to protect health, and was not viable for commercial manufacturing. The European Communities added that Australia's recommended temperature and time requirements created an extreme and unnecessary barrier to trade, and committed to providing a list of relevant questions to Australia. Australia replied that its import requirements were based on scientific principles and data. AQIS had based the final heating requirements on research on the inactivation of infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) strain CS88, a highly virulent strain exotic to Australia. Extensive consultations had been held with Thai and other quarantine authorities to discuss the issue, and Australia was prepared to provide any further information requested. Australia was considering whether additional scientific research could be usefully conducted to enhance scientific understanding and methods of inactivation of various poultry pathogens.
In October 2001, Thailand reported that the Department of Livestock Development was finalising its risk analysis on IBVD. A public hearing would be held before the analysis was presented to Australia. In May 2001, the OIE had agreed to conduct research on appropriate heat treatment to inactivate the IBD virus in poultry.
In June 2002, Thailand informed the Committee that its risk assessment on IBD virus in Thai cooked chicken meat to Australia showed that the risk of introducing IBDV to backyard flocks through cooked chicken meat was negligible. This report had been submitted to Australia in May 2002. Thailand hoped that within its new food safety mandate, the OIE would undertake work on IBD. Australia indicated that conditions for importation of cooked chicken had come into effect in August 1998, setting certain time and temperature cooking parameters. Thailand had applied for access for product from a certain facility, and had recently provided information. Australia would provide a response once the Thai document had been considered by an expert review group. The representative of the OIE reiterated his request that Members submit information on IBD to be able to make progress with the work undertaken by the OIE.
In November 2002, Thailand indicated that it was still waiting for a response from Australia on the basis of the risk assessment results. Australia noted that at its recent meeting the Australian risk analysis panel had examined the Thai document in detail. The panel had prepared technical comments and questions about aspects of the Thai risk assessment which would shortly be sent to the relevant Thai authorities. The representative of the OIE took note of the risk analysis document, and indicated that as soon as the OIE received more information and data from Members it would be in a position to review the OIE chapter through its expert working group.
In April 2003, Thailand stated that Australia's import risk analysis process was very complicated, unduly long and conducted without a specific timeframe. Australia responded that current arrangements were the product of a science-based risk assessment which had not been formally challenged. Biosecurity Australia was studying Thailand's risk analysis on cooked chicken meat, received in May 2002, along with additional information provided in January 2003. Australia aimed to complete the current risk analysis on chicken as soon as possible.
In June 2003, Thailand reported that no progress had been made since it provided scientific information to Australia in May 2002. Australia noted that cooked chicken meat from Thailand was allowed into Australia if requirements were fulfilled, in accordance with scientific findings. The representative of the OIE indicated that they had considered the issue in January 2002 and had requested more and new scientific information, however, no new information had been forthcoming.