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Germany mulls earlier start to poultry lock-up

by 5m Editor
13 February 2006, at 12:00am

GERMANY - Germany is considering bringing forward a ban on keeping poultry outdoors, currently due from March 1, to protect birds against the threat of avian influenza from migrating birds, the Agriculture Ministry said on Monday. A spokeswoman for the ministry said Agriculture Minister Horst Seehofer was &quot;inclined&quot; to bring forward the order, which is to apply for at least two months. The possible move follows news on Saturday that dead swans found in Greece, Italy and Bulgaria had tested positive for the highly pathogenic version of the H5N1 virus. Slovenia has also sent samples of avian flu found in a swan for testing. The spokeswoman said Seehofer would consult with experts in the ministry and health authorities on Monday afternoon and that any decisions reached would be announced after that. She added that Seehofer was also assessing whether poultry markets should be banned. At present these can still be held with special permission. <i>Source: Reuters</I>

5m Editor