Brussels, 16 May 2006
A Commission proposal to extend the regionalised import ban on Romanian live poultry, poultry meat and poultry products has been endorsed by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health today. The ban will now include Brasov county and the 4 surrounding counties of Covasna, Harghita, Mures and Sibiu in central Romania. The proposed decision was drafted following several confirmed cases and further suspected cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry flocks in Brasov over the weekend. The regionalised ban on Romanian poultry and poultry products already applies to 26 counties, due to outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza which have occurred since October 2005. The Romanian authorities have informed the Commission that disease eradication and control measures are now being applied in Brasov, while supplementary biosecurity measures against avian influenza are in place throughout the country. The import ban will remain in place until 31 December 2006, subject to review. The Commission has stressed that this new outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a European country underlines the importance of remaining vigilant against the disease and of continuing to apply precautionary measures in high risk areas.