Brussels, 2 June 2006
A draft Commission proposal to extend the import ban on Romanian live poultry and poultry products to cover the whole country has been endorsed by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health. The proposal was put forward on the basis that the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus has been spreading rapidly in Romania since avian influenza began re-occurring in the country in mid-May. During the meeting today the Romanian authorities gave an extensive overview on the avian influenza situation in their country and the measures they have undertaken to contain the disease, including an overview of the diagnostic procedures in place in their avian influenza laboratories. The Romanian authorities have notified an outbreak outside the area currently under restriction, from where imports of poultry and poultry products are already banned by the EU (see IP/06/590). Romania is applying stringent eradication and control measures in the affected counties and supplementary biosecurity measures are in force in all 42 Romanian counties. However, outbreaks are still being detected and the situation is being closely monitored by the Commission. The measures in place will be reviewed at the meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health in July 2006.