Romanian Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu has rejected media claims
that an intelligence report blames imported live poultry from Hungary and
Slovakia for the current bird flu outbreak.
"I have read the report and I can tell you there is no
evidence supporting the idea that this import generated the bird flu epidemic,"
said Prime Minister Tariceanu.
Local media, quoting a leaked report
by the country's secret service SRI, reported chicken farms in Transylvania
brought sick birds from the two European Union member states.
Prime Minister said the intelligence agency's report has no clear evidence
proving that the imports of meat and fowl from the two countries triggered the
bird flu outbreak. He added that the Sanitary-Veterinary Authority and the
Ministry of Agriculture have already begun investigations to establish what
triggered the outbreak of the virus.
The report was declassified at
the request of the Minister of Agriculture and was posted on the intelligence
agency's Web site. The report does not say that bird flu definitely came from
abroad, but says: "The SRI cannot exclude the hypothesis that the outbreak might
have been caused by imports of birds."
The document compiles all
recent imports made by several chicken farms in Brasov and surrounding areas,
which also include imports from international farms. It notes that farms have
imported domestic birds from Hungary, Slovakia and the Netherlands since
January, with health and veterinary certificates.
Slovakian authorities have expressly denied the possibility of the virus being
spread from their exports.
The confirmed bird flu outbreaks are in
the counties of Brasov, Covasna, Vrancea, Bacau, Buzau, Sibiu, Vrancea, Neamt,
Prahova and Mures, along with the Bucharest Sector 2 and 4
Last week, prosecutors issued warrants for the arrest of two
owners of the Brasov farms accused of spreading the