February 25, 2004



EU Bans US Poultry Imports Over Bird Flu


The European Union has banned all poultry products from the United States following the confirmation of a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu in Texas.


U.S. officials said Monday the bird flu outbreak near San Antonio, in south-central Texas was a dangerous strain of the type originally suspected, but wasn't the same strain that has killed at least 22 people in Asia.


It is the first time since 1983-84 that bird flu has been found in the U.S. Those cases were found in Virginia and Pennsylvania.


The E.U. has banned the import of all poultry products from Thailand and Vietnam, the two Asian countries hardest hit by the bird flu outbreak.


The ban on Thailand's lucrative chicken exports to the 15-nation European bloc was introduced Jan. 23. Vietnam doesn't export chicken products to Europe, but did export live birds.


The E.U. had its own outbreak of bird flu in 2003, which resulted in the culling of 30 million chickens and other birds in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.