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EU Lifts Ban on Fresh Poultry Meat from Thailand

by 5m Editor
4 April 2012, at 11:08pm

EU - Member States have supported the Commission's proposal to lift the restrictions on imports of fresh poultry meat from Thailand from 1 July 2012.

On 3 April, the Commission had adopted protection measures in early 2004 to suspend imports into the EU of fresh poultry meat and other poultry products from Thailand following outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza of the H5N1 subtype (HPAI H5N1).

In response to the original protection measures, Thailand implemented a rigorous policy to stamp-out the pathogen, including intensive surveillance and quick elimination of infected animals, and as a result successfully eradicated HPAI H5N1 from its territory.

The HPAI H5N1 epidemic had started in South East Asia in mid 2003 and the virus spread in the following years to three continents including Europe, affecting overall more than 60 countries.

The Commission adopted several protection measures to prohibit imports of poultry and poultry products from disease affected third countries, including Thailand, in order to avoid any risk of introducing the virus into EU poultry flocks, and any risk to human health.

Commission experts carried out several inspection missions in Thailand during this period, to evaluate the measures which had been put in place to eradicate and to control the situation.

The outcome of the last mission (March 2011) showed that Thailand can provide sufficient guarantees to comply with the EU import requirements for poultry meat.

Given this favourable animal health situation which now prevails in Thailand, the Commission proposed to Member States to lift the prohibition of imports of poultry meat from Thailand.

At a meeting on 2 April of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH), the Member States supported the draft proposal.