Smuggled Poultry and Wildlife Pose Bird Flu Threat to U.S.

US - U.S. officials are growing increasingly concerned about the possibility of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus entering the country through smuggled birds and wildlife.

The United States has established a bird-flu monitoring plan for migratory birds. But the virus could also make it into the country through other sources, including smuggled poultry and black-market trade in exotic birds, the Associated Press reported.

While the federal government has imposed a ban on all live birds, as well as bird parts and bird products from any country or region where bird flu is believed to exist, experts warn that border vigilance is essential.

"The borders are where the increased emphasis needs to be," Simon Habel, director of the trade-monitoring network TRAFFIC North America, told the AP.

The group, a joint program of the World Wildlife Fund and the IUCN-The World Conservation Union, works closely with the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Source: News 25
calendar icon 2 May 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
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