Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

EU governments approve tougher health rules on import of live birds into 27-nation bloc

EU governments approve tougher health rules on import of live birds into 27-nation bloc

European Union veterinary experts agreed to tighten rules on the import of live birds into the 27-nation bloc on Thursday.
The rules are meant to make strict temporary checks and controls permanent to prevent the spread of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus in Europe, officials said.
"Such measures are crucial to maintaining the highest possible level of animal health protection in the EU," Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said in a statement. "We can take no chances."
Under the new regulations, only a shortlist of safe countries, which meet certain health and welfare standards, can export live captive birds to the EU.
The new rules ban the import of live birds captured in the wild, allowing in only those that have been bred in captivity at approved breeding farms and which are free of bird flu and other deadly animal diseases. All birds coming into the EU will also have to carry a leg-ring or microchip to make it easier for health authorities to identify and trace the animal.
Imported birds will also have to undergo a minimum 30-day quarantine and have a veterinary checkup before being released from customs. The new rules are to take effect July 1.
The EU has been bird flu free since August. A monitoring report released last month showed that 748 cases of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu had been found in wild birds in 2006 in 14 of the then 25 EU nations.