Portugal suspends French poultry imports

Portugal suspends French poultry imports

Portugal has reportedly suspended the imports of French poultry on the back of bird flu fears.

The Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture told the AFP news agency the suspension was effective from 5 January but "could be lifted quickly based on information from France".

On its website, the French Ministry of Agriculture said to date 69 cases of highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza outbreaks have been detected in eight parts of the south-west of France. It has assured the disease is not transmissible to humans through the consumption of meat, eggs or foie gras.

France first confirmed the outbreak in a backyard in Dordogne at the end of November, prompting South Korea to block exports. Since then, in December, a further seven countries including Japan, Morocco, China, Thailand, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia all followed suit.

"The speed of the implementation of management measures is a prerequisite to limit the spread and consequences of disease, especially for export," said France's minister of agriculture, food and forestry, Stephane Le Foll, at the time.