The Commission of the European Union has extended its ban on poultry imports from nine Asian countries on bird flu fears.

The ban includes poultry products and pet birds. The countries named in the ban are Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Pakistan, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

An existing ban had been due to expire 15 August but new cases of bird flu have prompted growing concern The new ban will remain in force until 15 December.

Since the beginning of the year the fatal bird flu virus has posed a major problem for many Asian countries and led to the cull of millions of chickens and ducks.