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EU ready to impose ban on all bird imports.

A BLANKET ban on the import of live birds into the European Union is expected to be agreed today as more cases of the most deadly strain of avian flu are confirmed.

The move was demanded by British ministers after the death in quarantine of a parrot which contracted the potentially-lethal H5NI form of a virus which has killed more than 60 people in South-East Asia.

An effective compulsory ban across Europe requires EU Commission approval, expected at talks in Strasbourg today.

The recommendation will then be considered - and almost certainly endorsed - at talks between national veterinary experts on the EU's Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds supports the move.

The Government's chief veterinary officer, Debby Reynolds, said Britain could not act on its own over an EU-wide ban, which required a Commission decision.

Meanwhile, she promised any necessary investigation into British quarantine rules which may have allowed the parrot from Surinam to be quarantined in the same space as birds from Asia
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 25, 2005
Words:174
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