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Hungary Hit by Bird Flu; Ukraine and Russia Ban Imports; EU Is Cautious



Russia's veterinary watchdog banned imports of Hungarian poultry today, the Interfax agency reported. Moscow had earlier banned poultry deliveries from Hungary between June and October last year.

Ukraine's ban applies to deliveries of live birds, eggs and bird meat as well as any poultry products, the Agricultural Ministry's press service said.

Hungarian laboratories detected the virus earlier this week after several dozen geese were discovered dead or showing signs of damaged nervous systems on a farm in southeastern Hungary.

Meanwhile, a European Union standing committee said today that European Union member countries should not introduce a full ban on poultry imports from Hungary in the wake of an outbreak of bird flu at a farm in southeastern Hungary, reported the Budapest Business Journal.

The committee decided that the local measures were in full compliance with those set in the guidelines against bird flu and no additional restrictions were justified in member countries, spokesman Philip Tod said. Romanian authorities said they were considering a ban pending the Brussels decision but would follow its guidance. Serbia and Croatia have already imposed bans on Hungarian poultry.

Serbia and Romania have suspended imports of Hungarian poultry because of the outbreak of bird flu on a farm there, the two countries' agriculture ministries said on yesterday. Hungarian animal health officials have culled some 3,300 geese suspected to have been infected with avian flu at a farm in southeastern Hungary.

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