EU extends bans to protect against bird flu
The European Commission has strengthened measures to protect the EU
against bird flu, by extending existing bans on the import of live captive birds
and the import of poultry products from China, Thailand and Malaysia.
The import bans on poultry products from the three Asian countries will
remain in place until 31 December 2007. These restrictions are still deemed
necessary due to the fact that the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian
influenza virus is still present in South East Asia.
measures against avian influenza taken in relation to Turkish exports will also
be prolonged until 31 December 2006. These measures can be reviewed in the mean
time depending on the evolution of the disease in the world.
Croatia, the safeguard measures in place have been amended, so that when Croatia
detects a case of avian influenza in wild birds, the import restrictions will
only apply to regions for which the Croatian authorities apply restrictions
The ban on the import of live captive birds and the
movement restrictions on pet birds entering the EU from third countries has been
extended until 31 December 2006. This import
ban on captive birds (birds other than poultry for commercial purposes) was
first agreed on in October 2005. Some countries are exempt from the
restrictions, including Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Croatia, Andorra,
Iceland, Greenland, Faeroe Islands and San Marino.
The ban has been
prolonged to take into account the scientific opinion by the European
Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the animal health and animal welfare risks
associated with the import of birds other than poultry into the Community. This
opinion is expected at the end of October and it will guide the future policy of
the EU on the animal health and animal welfare aspects of these imports.
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