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Restrictions on poultry lifted in EU

By Ahmed ElAmin , 06-Sep-2006

With no currently outbreaks of avian influenza being found in the EU's borders, all restrictions on the movement of farmed birds have been lifted within the bloc, the European Commission reported yesterday.

Commission proposals to partially lift a ban on poultry products from Romania were backed by the bloc's Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health at its meeting yesterday.

Member states continue to apply heightened surveillance and preventive measures against the disease, the committee reported.

The committee also backed allowing Germany to go ahead with field research into a vaccination programme.

Member states on the committee backed a Commission proposal to adapt the import ban on poultry products from all of Romania, which was imposed at the beginning of June due to the spread of avian influenza in the country.

"Given the improvements in the disease situation, the measures will be lifted in some parts of Romania," the committee reported.

The regionalised ban which was previously in place for all poultry products from the Danube delta, south and east of the Carpate Mountains, will continue to be in force. The measures will remain in place until the end of 2006, and will be subject to review.

The Commission and member states endorsed a vaccination campaign against avian influenza that the German authorities intend to carry out on three commercial farms in North Rhine Westphalia over the next two years .

The vaccination will be carried out for research purposes only, as part of a major field study to determine the effects and results of vaccinating against avian influenza. None of the poultry used in the research, nor their meat and eggs, will be put on the market.