Tom Carper, U.S. Senator for Delaware

Washington, DC -- Delaware’s Congressional Delegation today announced that the Chinese government has officially removed the poultry trade restrictions placed on the United States ten months ago after a form of avian influenza was discovered in several flocks of American chickens. Earlier today, the Chinese Ambassador to United States Yang Jie-chi, called Senators Biden and Carper, and Congressman Castle to confirm that the trade restrictions will be lifted immediately for most of the United States, including the Delmarva Peninsula where the poultry industry generates approximately $1.5 billion a year. Delaware’s Delegation met with Ambassador Yang in early October to assure the Chinese government of the safety of Delaware poultry and to press them to lift the ban and allow for the resumption of direct exports to mainland China. The delegation noted that while China accounts for ten percent of all of Delaware poultry exports, it is the fastest growing market for our chickens. “When the first case of avian influenza was discovered, the State of Delaware and Delaware poultry businesses responded immediately and the situation was quickly and effectively contained,” said the delegation. “We, as a delegation, pressed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make all necessary resources available and thankfully, we were able to secure $13.7 million in federal funds to expand monitoring of avian influenza, increase surveillance of the live-bird markets and distributors, and advance research for better identification and tracking of avian influenza sources. Today’s announcement marks the last major export market to lift the ban on Delaware poultry and signifies the growing confidence in the health and safety of our poultry.”
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