By Theopolis Waters
    CHICAGO, July 30(Reuters) - China has banned imports of
poultry and poultry products from the state of Arkansas after a
low-pathogenic strain of avian influenza was found in the state
in June, U.S. government and industry officials said on Tuesday
    "All poultry and poultry products shipped from the State of
Arkansas on or after July 22, 2013 are ineligible for export,"
the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection
Service said on its web site on Tuesday.
    The Chinese government posted an official notification on
its website, USA Poultry & Egg Export Council spokesman Toby
Moore told Reuters. 
    "As an industry we are disappointed because we hoped China
would take the high road and not ban the whole state and limit
the ban to the county because it was an isolated incident,"
Moore said.
    Arkansas is the second largest U.S. chicken producer behind
Georgia. 
    In June, tests found about eight birds in an Arkansas flock
of 9,000 breeder chickens in Scott County were positive for the
H7N7 low-pathogen avian flu, a state poultry official said at
the time. The flock was humanly euthanized and buried and the
eggs they produced were destroyed.
    The influenza is a milder strain of the flu that      
caused dozens of deaths in China and crippled its poultry
industry. Also, the virus found in Arkansas does not pose a
threat to humans, state and industry officials said. 
    Neither the meat or the eggs would have entered the food
chain. 
    The Arkansas farm supplied birds to Tyson Foods Inc.
    In response, Tyson said in June it planned to step up its
bio-security measures and surveillance of avian influenza and
test all area breeder farms that serve the company.
    A Tyson spokesman could not be reached for comment regarding
China's ban on Arkansas poultry.