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IP/03/312

Brussels, 5 March 2003

Committee prolongs control measures to contain avian influenza outbreak in the Netherlands

The Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health today endorsed the measures adopted by the Commission on 3 March and prolonged them for a week, until 13 March. The measures specifies that no live poultry and hatching eggs may be transported within the Netherlands nor dispatched from the Netherlands to other Member States or third countries.

Outbreaks of avian influenza (AI) in the province of Gelderland in Netherland were confirmed at the end of last week. On Saturday 1 March the Dutch authorities, in co-operation with the Commission services put in place disease control measures in accordance with Directive 92/40/EEC. These measures include a nation-wide standstill for the transport of live poultry and hatching eggs and a prohibition on dispatching any live poultry or hatching eggs from the whole territory of the Netherlands. The Commission on 3 March adopted a Decision (see IP/03/305) specifying that no live poultry and hatching eggs may be dispatched from the Netherlands to other Member States or third countries. They may also not be transported within the Netherlands except for poultry for direct slaughter and one day old chicks.

The Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) today received a detailed report on the situation from the Dutch representative. All Member states appreciated the measures put in place by the Netherlands and the Commission. They agreed on the prolongation of the same measures until 13 March.

The Committee also adopted a statement on the situation in relation to the outbreaks of AI in the Netherlands and the Dutch delegation made a statement declaring that all national measures in the Netherlands will remain in place until the next meeting of the SCFCAH.

The Commission will continue to work closely with the Dutch authorities to ensure proper co-ordination within the EU. The situation and the measures adopted will be reviewed at a new meeting of the SCFCAH on Monday 10 March.


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