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Dutch poultry off the menu in five countries

Five countries have imposed blanket or partial bans on imports of Dutch poultry and poultry products after the Netherlands found evidence of a low-pathogenic H7 bird flu strain at a farm last week.

Diplomats at the Dutch embassies in Russia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong are trying to make it clear to local authorities that there is nothing wrong with poultry meat and eggs from the Netherlands.

The Dutch agriculture ministry announced that an investigation had discovered no new cases of avian influenza after the infection in the village of Voorthuizen. Within the EU, there are no export problems, as member states are not allowed to impose trade restrictions on one another.

The ministry said in a statement that transport was allowed again of birds for slaughter, newly-hatched chicks, eggs and other livestock out of a safety zone set up around the infected farm.

But it said other live poultry and their manure could still not be transported out of the zone. The authorities will review these measures again in a week.

Last week, Dutch authorities culled all 25,000 chickens at the infected farm and sealed off another 130 farms for testing to prevent a major outbreak.

The import bans are a blow to the Dutch poultry industry, Europe's second biggest after France.

The Netherlands exports live birds, meat and eggs worth about 1.5 billion euros a year mainly to Germany, Britain, Belgium, France, Ukraine, Japan, Poland and Russia.

Editor WorldPoultry

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