|March 10, 2004, just-food.com:
Canadian officials have changed their initial assessment
of the strain of bird flu that effected birds in British Columbia
in February. New reports released by the Canadian Food Inspection
reveal that the strain is actually a more potent variety then was
first thought. Even at the greater strength, the strain poses little
threat to humans, reported Agence France Presse.
EU stops poultry imports from
March 11, 2004, just-food.com: Following
the confirmation of a highly pathogenic avian influenza
outbreak in the Canadian state of British Columbia,
the European Commission has adopted a proposal to suspend
the import of live poultry, poultry meat and products
and eggs from Canada into the EU.
"The risk to human health remains low. This is not the same
virus which currently exists in Asia," the agency was quoted
by AFP as saying.
In February an outbreak of bird flu was discovered at a farm east
of Vancouver, leading to the cull of around 16,000 chickens. It
was believed to be a low pathogenic strain of the disease, but now
officials have said tests have found both low and high pathogenic
forms of the H7N3 strain of the virus. High pathogenic strains are
more contagious and have a higher fatality rate amongst infected
birds than low pathogenic strains.
"The presence of both forms of the virus on the same premises
is not unheard of but is rare," the agency said.
In response to the discovery, Japan re-imposed its total ban on
live birds, chicken and other poultry meat from Canada. The Japanese
agriculture ministry had recently eased the ban, allowing imports
from other parts of Canada except British Columbia, but has now
re-imposed the original ban, reported Kyodo News.