Asian poultry trade status reviewed and largely rejected

HANOI, Vietnam,January 12, 2005, as reported by A Vietnam teenager is dead after a two week battle with avian flu, reported Rueters. The death marks the third in ten days as the country and the region continues to fight to get the highly communicable disease under control. The announcement foreshadowed the European Union’s decision on future trade relations with the region made just two days after the unfortunate loss.

EU’s Standing Committee of the Food Chain and Animal Health reviewed the poultry trade status of several Asian countries effected by avian flu in 2004, reported the European Commission. The Committee agreed to a Commission proposal to lift the restrictions applicable to Japan and South Korea; however, because the EU did not previously import poultry or poultry meat from those two countries, the lifting only applies to pet birds.

For eight other Asian countries – Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam – the suspension of the imports of all poultry products and pet birds, previously applicable until March 31, 2005, has been extended until September 30, 2005 as bird flu is either still present in these countries or they cannot be certified as disease-free, the Commission said.