UK poultry scare "contained" EU says

UK - Supplies of live poultry, poultry meat and eggs from the UK will continue to flow to EU countries while the UK battles with a disease that can wipe out entire flocks.

A spokesperson for the European Commission said the UK seems to have contained Newcastle's disease, which was discovered last week in a lot of 9,000 pheasants in Surrey.

"We are not considering any measures at the moment," said Philip Tod, the Commission's spokesperson for health and consumers protection.

The UK's government's department for the environment, food and rural affairs (Defra) on Friday imposed the ban last Friday on all exports outside the EU of live birds, hatching eggs, meat and eggs.

The disease is as damaging to the poultry industry as foot-and-mouth is to livestock. It is almost always fatal to birds, and can cause conjunctivitis in adults and children in contact with infected animals, according to the International Society for Infectious Diseases.

Exports outside the EU of live birds, poultry parts and hatching eggs are worth about £114m (€165m) a year and mainly consist of the export of cheaper cuts such as chicken, turkey and duck wings and feet to the Far East. The figure does not include exports of eggs for eating, which Defra was unable to provide.

calendar icon 19 July 2005
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