The European Commission has said the EU's Standing Committee of the Food Chain and Animal Health has reviewed the situation with regard to avian influenza in ten Asian countries.

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 31 March 2005, has been extended until 30 September 2005 as bird flu is either still present in these countries or they cannot be certified as disease-free, the Commission said.

For more information on avian influenza, click here.