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News 558 views update:Dec 19, 2007

Armenia and Ukraine ban Russian poultry imports

Officials announced that Armenia and Ukraine have banned Russian poultry imports, following a bird flu outbreak at a poultry farm in the Rostov region, south Russia.

The birds at the farm started dying at the end of November, and a preliminary analysis showed traces of the lethal H5N1 virus. A total of 276,000 birds have already been culled at the poultry farm, and the remaining 224,000 are to be slaughtered.

Due to the latest outbreak, Ukrainian authorities have "temporarily suspended" the import of poultry from Russia. "Armenia does not import poultry from Russia. Nevertheless, as a precautionary measure, its import into Armenia has been banned," said Armenian customs official. 

The current outbreak is the third in Russia this year. The Krasnodar Territory was hit by the H5N1 strain in September, and over 200,000 birds were culled as a result.

Although no cases of the human-to-human transmission of avian influenza have been reported, there is fear among scientists that the virus could eventually mutate into a strain that could be easily be passed on from person to person, causing a global flu pandemic.

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Editor WorldPoultry

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