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Germany has emergency bird flu regulation ready

by 5m Editor
22 August 2005, at 12:00am

GERMANY - Germany is ready to order farmers to keep poultry penned up in an effort to avert bird flu, but not yet, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Minister Renate Kuenast said.

Germany has emergency bird flu regulation ready - GERMANY - Germany is ready to order farmers to keep poultry penned up in an effort to avert bird flu, but not yet, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Minister Renate Kuenast said.

Emergency regulations have been prepared under which poultry farmers could be ordered to keep their flocks in pens to prevent contact with wild birds migrating from central Asia where bird flu has been discovered, Kuenast told a news conference in Berlin.

The order has not yet been put into force and poultry farmers can work as usual for the time being, she said.

The disease would cause major damage to Europe's farming sector. An outbreak in 2003 led to the slaughter of a quarter of all Dutch poultry at a cost of hundreds of millions of euros.

Kuenast said there was a danger, although small, that the disease could be brought into Germany by wild birds migrating from central Asia and the new regulations were to counter this danger.

Mass bird deaths in a Russian region to the west of the Ural mountains this week have stoked fears that the virus may be spreading to Europe as birds migrate for the winter.

Talks would now be held with experts and German state governments about if and when the emergency regulation should be put into effect.

"It is ready for signing on my desk and can be put into action immediately," she said.

She warned against panic on the bird flu issue but said the German government had to be ready to prevent the disease entering the country or the European Union.

Source: Reuters - 22nd August 2005

5m Editor