Source Pravda.Ru

EU-wide ban on exotic bird imports to be approved

European Union veterinary experts are expected to approve an EU-wide ban on the import of exotic birds and stricter rules on the private ownership of such pet birds.

The move was being considered after a parrot, imported from Suriname, died in quarantine in Britain over the weekend after contracting the H5N1 flu strain. It was believed the parrot was infected by other birds in quarantine.

The EU experts panel - which has been meeting weekly to review measures for preventing the spread of bird flu in the 25-nation bloc - was also to assess the latest positive cases in Croatia.

The reported cases from Croatia prompted the European Commission on Monday to issue a precautionary ban on imports of live poultry, wild birds and feathers from that Balkan country. The EU experts were expected Tuesday to endorse that ban.

Samples from Croatia have been sent to the EU's reference laboratory at Weybridge, Britain, to see whether the bird flu found is the H5N1 strain. Results were expected this week.

Before the EU decision on Croatia was announced, Zagreb said it would halt all poultry and feather exports after the discovery of six infected swans last week, the AP reports.

V.Y.