Food Law News - EU - 2006

Commission Press Release (IP/06/929), 4 July 2006

AVIAN FLU - Protection measures and import bans prolonged and amended

A number of draft Commission Decisions introducing, amending and prolonging measures to protect the EU against avian influenza were backed by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health today.

[Note: the following are extracts from the press release which relate to food issues]

Hungarian measures prolonged

In light of further confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in domestic birds in southern Hungary , the Standing Committee backed a Commission proposal to extend the prevention and control measures already in place until 31 August 2006 . Since an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 was confirmed in domestic geese in the south of the country in mid-June, there have been a total of 20 –to this date-suspected or confirmed cases, all located within the same area and within the restriction zones. The Hungarian authorities are applying the prevention and control measures laid down in the Avian Influenza Directive and the Commission Decision on measures to be taken in the event of an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry (see IP/06/180).

Import restrictions for 3 Asian countries, Turkey and Croatia

The import bans on poultry products from China , Malaysia and Thailand will remain in place until 31 December 2007 , the Standing Committee agreed today. These restrictions are still deemed necessary due to the fact that the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus is still present in South East Asia . EU safeguard measures against avian influenza taken in relation to Turkish exports will also be prolonged until 31 December 2006 . These measures can be reviewed in the mean time depending on the evolution of the disease in the world.

For Croatia , the Standing Committee agreed to amend the safeguard measures in place, so that when Croatia detects a case of avian influenza in wild birds, the import restrictions will only apply to regions for which the Croatian authorities apply restrictions themselves. This reflects the Decision taken for Switzerland in May (see IP/06/590). The amendment was deemed appropriate in view of the close cooperation between the Croatian authorities and the EU on avian influenza, and the fact that Croatia applies the same rigorous prevention and control measures in their restriction zones in the event of a case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in wild birds. For the moment there are no restrictions in place in Croatia .

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