The European Union is extending its ban on imports of Thai poultry as the southeast Asian country struggles to rid itself of the avian influenza virus.

The EU's ban on imports of fresh and frozen Thai poultry is likely to be extended until 15 December, beyond an earlier expiration date of 15 August, reported Reuters.

Meanwhile, in Thailand officials suspect a new outbreak of bird flu may have hit a farm in the central province of Ayutthaya, where thousands of chickens have died.

"I have received reports that there are suspected bird flu cases in Ayutthaya province and the result of lab tests will be confirmed in the next couple of days," deputy agriculture minister Newin Chidchob was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

"It is possible that the outbreak will return," he added.

Earlier this year bird flu spread through many parts of Asia, resulting in the deaths of millions of chickens, severely impacting the region's poultry industry. The disease also jumped to humans, killing eight people in Thailand and 16 in Vietnam.