The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR) has decided to ban the import of live birds and poultry products from seven more countries and two zones of India due to the recent outbreak of avian flu.
In a similar decision in January, the ministry had banned imports of poultry and their products from seven other countries.
A statement issued by the ministry on Thursday said, ‘The import of poultry from Kuwait, Iraq, Senegal, Hungary, Lithuania, Northern Ireland, Cambodia, and the states of Haryana and Maharashtra in the Republic of India has been prohibited.
‘It is forbidden to import live birds and their products and derivatives until the cause of the ban is removed and a decision in this regard is issued.’
Since October last year, several European countries have been affected by cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), caused by H5 subtype viruses.
On February 5, the epidemiological situation in Europe was updated with several new cases of HPAI reported in wild birds and poultry in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, Slovenia, Poland, France, Croatia, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Lithuania, Norway, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden and Bulgaria, according to IZSVe, the Italian health authority and research organisation for animal health and food safety.
In India, till January 23 this year, outbreaks of this strain of avian flu have been confirmed in nine states for poultry birds and in 12 states for crow, migratory and wild birds, according to the Indian Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying.
The MAFWR in January had banned the import of poultry and their products from seven countries following reports of a highly contagious strain of avian flu spreading across countries. Those seven countries are Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, Ukraine, Scotland and Tehran Province in the Islamic Republic of Iran.