Gov. announces first poultry export to China in 7 years

Governor McAuliffe witnesses poultry products being loaded at the Perdue facility in Norfolk, Va.

NORFOLK, Va. (AP/WAVY) — Virginia is preparing to send its first shipment of chicken to China following a seven-year ban.

The Chinese government lifted its ban on imported Virginia poultry products in May. China blocked Virginia chicken exports in 2007 after a case of pathogenic avian influenza was reported on a single farm in Virginia.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office says a shipment that includes chicken wing tips will leave the Port of Virginia on Friday. It is expected to arrive in China on Aug. 3.

Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore says he estimates Virginia could sell $20 million in poultry products to China in the first year the ban is lifted.

China ranked as the number one market for Virginia’s agricultural exports in 2013 with more than $580 million in purchases.

According to a press release, McAuliffe witnessed poultry products being loaded at the Perdue facility Tuesday.

“I made having the long-standing ban removed a top economic priority of my administration, so I wanted to be in Norfolk to witness firsthand the vessel being loaded,” McAullife said.

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