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Jordan bans import of poultry, pet birds from several countries after avian flu outbreak

By Hana Namrouqa - Nov 15,2016 - Last updated at Nov 15,2016

AMMAN — Jordan on Tuesday banned the import of frozen poultry and pet birds from Israel, India and five European countries, following the outbreak of a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus.

“All imports of poultry, frozen poultry and poultry meat which didn’t undergo thermal processing are banned from entering the country,” Ministry of Agriculture Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin said.

Haddadin noted that the ban includes Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Israel, India, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.

Haddadin noted that several other European countries have also been hit with the virus, but the Kingdom does not import any poultry products from them.

“Jordan is 90 per cent self sufficient with poultry meat; however, some traders import frozen poultry from the infected countries,” he added.

“The ban on poultry imports will continue until the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) declares the infected countries as free from the virus,” he told The Jordan Times. 

Germany, Switzerland and Austria reported on Saturday new outbreaks of the H5N8 virus, a severe strain of bird flu, after it has also hit Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands, Denmark and Croatia, according to Reuters.

German authorities destroyed between Sunday and Monday a flock of 30,000 chickens in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein as a precaution to try to contain the H5N8 strain of the virus, which can easily spread among birds but is not known to infect humans, The Associated Press reported.

In Israel, an outbreak of the severe strain of the virus has been reported on Sunday on a farm, according to the OIE, which said on its website that the virus strain has probably arrived from Europe with migrating birds.

Meanwhile in India, an outbreak of the H5N8 was reported in mid October.

Bird flu or avian influenza (AI) is an infectious viral disease of birds (especially wild water fowl such as ducks and geese), often causing no apparent signs of illness, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

AI viruses can sometimes spread to domestic poultry and cause large-scale outbreaks of serious diseases. Some of these AI viruses have also been reported to cross the species barrier and cause disease or subclinical infections in humans and other mammals, according to the WHO website.

Most AI viruses do not infect humans; however, some, such as A (H5N1) and A (H7N9), have caused serious infections in people.

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