Armenia and Ukraine ban Russian poultry imports
Officials announced that Armenia and Ukraine have
banned Russian poultry imports, following a bird flu outbreak at a poultry farm
in the Rostov region, south Russia.
The birds at the farm started dying at the end of
November, and a preliminary analysis showed traces of the lethal H5N1 virus. A
total of 276,000 birds have already been culled at the poultry farm, and the
remaining 224,000 are to be slaughtered.
Due to the latest outbreak,
Ukrainian authorities have "temporarily suspended" the import of poultry from
Russia. "Armenia does not import poultry from Russia. Nevertheless, as a
precautionary measure, its import into Armenia has been banned," said Armenian
The current outbreak is the third in Russia this
year. The Krasnodar Territory was hit by the H5N1 strain in September, and over
200,000 birds were culled as a result.
Although no cases of the
human-to-human transmission of avian influenza have been reported, there is fear
among scientists that the virus could eventually mutate into a strain that could
be easily be passed on from person to person, causing a global flu pandemic.
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