News 307 views update:Feb 20, 2007

Verdict: Hungary found NOT GUILTY

Following talks between Hungarian, EU and UK veterinary officials in Brussels, the EC said that the Hungarian authorities had dispelled the possibility that infected meat from restricted zones in southeast Hungary had been sent to Bernard Matthews' plants in other parts of Hungary.

"No animals were sent to either slaughter house from the restricted zones since November 2006," said EU health spokesman Philip Tod. The European Commission said that the Hungarian authorities have not uncovered any evidence to link the recent bird flu outbreak on a turkey farm in Suffolk to meat from contaminated birds in Hungary.
However, the Commission was keen to point out that although the virus was most likely not transmitted through poultry meat, there was still a very clear link between the Hungarian strain and the one found in the UK earlier this month. Tod said there was still speculation about how the virus could have reached Suffolk, listing vehicles, manure, human contact with either feathers or birds and unlicensed trade among the many remaining possibilities.
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