Oman lifts Va. Poultry ban

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Oman has lifted its ban of poultry products from Virginia and other U.S. states, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced from his marketing trip to the Middle East and India.

The country had banned all imports of U.S. poultry in May in response to an outbreak of avian influenza in several Western and Midwestern states.

In 2014, Virginia poultry producers exported $1 million in products to Oman, but, by September, exports were down 90 percent year-to-date due to the import ban, according to the governor’s office. At the same time, total Virginia agriculture and forestry exports to Oman have increased 117 percent, led by soybean exports of more than $5 million.

McAuliffe said the ban was lifted after months of discussions between the governor’s office and the Embassy of Oman, including with Hunaina Sultan Al-Mughairy, Oman’s ambassador to the U.S. McAuliffe met with Oman’s ministers of commerce and industry and agricultural affairs and fish resources on Sunday.

McAuliffe said he and Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore led discussions with several Oman poultry producers.

"We understand every country's desire to protect its food supply,” Haymore said in a statement. “However, given that Virginia has not been affected by avian influenza and its poultry is among the safest and highest quality in the country, we greatly appreciate that Oman recognized our position and lifted its ban on our products.”

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