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Miliband rejects wider poultry import bans

by 5m Editor
27 February 2007, at 9:27am

BIRMINGHAM - Farm secretary David Miliband on Monday rejected a suggestion that a wider import ban on Hungarian poultry could have stopped the spread of a deadly bird flu virus to England this month.

Chicken Roundabout in Ditchingham, approximately 10 miles (16 km) from the Suffolk farm where the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu broke out in Holton, eastern England February 6, 2007.

"I can see the temptations in talking about import bans on other countries but that means...when a diseased swan is found in Cellardyke other countries can slap a ban on the whole of the British farming industry," he said.

"That is not where any of us want to go. You have got to take an attitude that says we will be guided by the science and we will follow and implement the rules in an effective way," he told the National Farmers Union's annual conference.

The country's farm ministry confirmed on February 3 that a deadly H5N1 virus had infected a Bernard Matthews turkey farm in Suffolk, eastern England.

A report has said an earlier outbreak in Hungary was the most plausible source, a theory which the eastern European country rejects.

Source: Reuters

5m Editor