Brussels, 03 December 2007
Following recent outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Poland and Romania, the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health today voted in favour of a Decision setting out the eradication and control measures for both Member States. The measures in place in the UK, in response to the outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza on turkey holdings in Norfolk in November, were also re-confirmed.
The Commission was informed by the Polish authorities over the weekend of two confirmed outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the Płock district, in the county of Brudzeń Duży. The outbreaks were detected following increased mortality rate on two separate turkey holdings. Samples were sent to the Community Reference Laboratory in Weybridge, which confirmed today that it is the H5N1 strain of the virus. Upon suspicion of the disease, the Polish authorities implemented the measures set out in the Avian Influenza Directive and in Commission Decision 2006/415/EC on H5 avian influenza in domestic poultry. All remaining birds on the affected holdings have been culled and a 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone have been established around the outbreaks. In these zones, strict movement controls are in place, poultry must be kept indoors and on-farm biosecurity measures have been strengthened. The Standing Committee today endorsed a Decision reinforcing these measures and delineating the risk zones and a buffer zone around them.
The Standing Committee also voted in favour of a Decision confirming the protection and control measures in place in Romania, following an outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza in a backyard flock in Tulcea Province last week (see MEX/07/1128). This replaces the emergency Decision adopted by the Commission last week, confirming the prevention and control measures taken by the Romanian authorities and listing the areas covered by the 3km protection zone, 10km surveillance zone and buffer zone around them. Romanian authorities gave an update of the disease situation at the Standing Committee, and confirmed that surveillance has been stepped up around the Danube Delta for further signs of the virus.
The UK delegation updated Member States on the avian influenza situation in
its territory, in light of the recent outbreaks on the border of Norfolk and
Suffolk. No further cases of the disease have been detected since 19 November.
Epidemiological investigations into the source of the virus are ongoing, and the
prevention and control measures set out in the Avian Influenza Directive and in
Commission Decision 2006/415/EC are still being applied. These measures were
re-confirmed in the Decision voted by the Standing Committee today. Under EU
legislation, prevention and control measures must continue to be implemented for
21 days following the last outbreak of the avian influenza virus and the full
disinfection of the affected holding.