The Hong Kong food safety authority said on Wednesday that it has banned the import of poultry meat and products from areas of Germany and the Netherlands.

In view of notifications from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) about outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany and the Province of Overijssel in the Netherlands.

It has banned the import of poultry meat and products, including poultry eggs, from the two areas, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of Hong Kong’s Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said.

The ban, with immediate effect, aims to protect public health in Hong Kong, the CFS said.

According to a CFS spokesperson, in the first 10 months of this year, Hong Kong imported about 8,400 tonnes of frozen poultry meat and 2 million poultry eggs from Germany.

It also imported about 7,800 tonnes of frozen poultry meat and 7.3 million poultry eggs from the Netherlands.

“The CFS has contacted the German and Dutch authorities over the issues and will closely monitor information issued by the OIE on avian influenza outbreaks in the two countries concerned.

Appropriate actions will be taken in response to the development of the situation,’’ the spokesperson said.