CHINA, hit by accusations of shoddy and dangerous exports, sent its own message to Washington today by announcing it had seized and killed a shipment of 41 US homing pigeons.
China has faced an international outcry over lax product safety, including toxic ingredients in medicine that killed patients in Panama and toothpaste made with an industrial solvent.
While acknowledging serious problems, Beijing has accused international media of alarmism and pointedly blocked US and European goods it said were also substandard.
China's latest messenger in this tit-for-tat was a batch of 41 live pigeons shipped from the US, according to the Government website (www.gov.cn).
Inspectors at the capital's airport discovered severe problems with the birds, which were slaughtered and incinerated.
Health certification was incorrect, the number shipped was at odds with what documents claimed, and US inspection methods did not meet jointly agreed standards, Chinese authorities said.
The shipping documents also indicated the birds tested positive for “parrot fever”, a bacteria-borne disease that can infect humans and cause flu-like symptoms.
“The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine has demanded that all border quarantine bodies strengthen inspections of birds imported from the US,” it said.
The administration has also demanded an explanation from US authorities, it said.
Inspectors seized the birds on June 21.
The announcement did not explain the delay in publicising the catch.
Earlier this month, China suspended some US pork and poultry imports, citing disease worries.
Pigeon raising is a popular hobby in China, and the birds are also a popular restaurant dish.
Click to view image: '75560-Homing_pigeon.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|