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Imports of birds and eggs from the United States suspended

by 5m Editor
25 February 2004, at 12:00am

UK - The European Commission has yesterday suspended imports of birds and eggs from the United States into the EU.

Imports of birds and eggs from the United States suspended - UK - The European Commission has suspended imports of birds and eggs from the United States into the EU.

This follows confirmation of 'avian flu' (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza - HPAI) in Texas yesterday.

In parallel Defra has introduced an identical ban on the imports into England.

Ben Bradshaw, the animal health Minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said:

"Avian influenza is a highly contagious poultry disease. Imports of poultrymeat and poultrymeat products from the United States are already prohibited.

"I am very keen to ensure we do everything possible to prevent the disease being introduced into UK poultry flocks via imports of live birds and eggs. I welcome the swift action taken by the Commission to suspend imports."

Additional Information

  • Avian influenza (AI) is highly contagious, causing widespread fatality of poultry and serious economic damage. Outbreaks of the disease have been recently reported in Asia but the particular strain now confirmed in the United States (H5N2) is not the same as the strain affecting Asia (H5N1)

  • Imports of poultrymeat and meat products from the United States into the EU are already prohibited as there are no production establishments in the US which are approved to export to the EU. Meat from ratites (birds such as ostriches) was permitted.

  • Following yesterday's confirmation of AI in poultry in Texas by the US Department of Agriculture, the European Commission has suspended imports of:

    • live poultry, ratites, farmed and wild feathered game
    • hatching eggs of the above species
    • all other birds, except pet birds accompanied by their owners
    • eggs for human consumption
    • ratite meat obtained from birds slaughtered after 27 January

  • Defra is currently carrying out a risk assessment into the risk of the disease spreading through legal commercial trade. Results will be published on the Defra web shortly.

Source: Defra - 24th February 2004

5m Editor