U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker are among the group of 37 bipartisan Senators calling for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to push the Chinese government to end its ban on American poultry products.
A letter to the Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue challenged the ban that was placed on the imports in 2015 after the detection of wild duck with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influence (HPAI). The ban goes against World Health Organization for Animal Health standards and prevents Mississippi egg and poultry products from being delivered to Chinese markets.
“The poultry industry provides thousands of high quality jobs in our rural communities and the reopening of the Chinese market would provide a huge boost for these rural areas, We encourage you to remain focused on the next steps to officially reopen the Chinese market as soon as possible,” the letter stated.
Mississippi is fifth in the nation for the largest producer of broilers, with 736 million chickens worth $2.82 billion produced in 2016. The state also produced more than 1.36 billion eggs last year that valued at $104 million.