Brussels, 21 June 2007
Yesterday evening the European Commission was informed by the Czech authorities of a suspected outbreak of avian influenza in the Pardubicky Region, district Ústí nad Orlicí, in the centre of the country. The outbreak occurred on a farm of 6 000 turkeys, and was detected following the death of around 1 800 birds. Laboratory tests carried out yesterday and today in the State Veterinary Institute in Jihlava and at the National Reference Laboratory in Prague on samples from the turkey farm have first detected the presence of an Influenza A virus and then this afternoon identified it as the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus. Samples are also being sent to the Community Reference Laboratory in Weybridge for confirmation.
The Czech authorities are already applying the measures laid down in the Avian Influenza Directive and in Commission Decision 2006/415/EC on suspicion or confirmation of H5N1 in domestic poultry. This entails the establishment of a protection zone of 3 km radius and a surveillance zone of 10 km around the infected holding. The area covered by the protection zone and the surveillance zone is classified as a high risk area (area A) which is surrounded by a low risk area (area B) acting as a buffer zone to the disease free parts of the country. Strict movement controls are in place, poultry must be kept indoors, there is a prohibition on gatherings of poultry and other birds and on-farm biosecurity measures will be strengthened.
The Commission will adopt later today a Decision defining the A and B areas.
Furthermore the disease situation will be reviewed at the meeting of the Member States Chief Veterinary Officers on 28 June.
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