Countries including Japan and South Africa have put restrictions on German imports

Countries including Japan and South Africa have put restrictions on German imports

Several markets have placed import restrictions on German poultry following an outbreak of bird flu in the country, the Mecklenburg Vorpommern state government said yesterday (16 November).

State agriculture minister Till Backhaus said an outbreak of H5 avian influenza that had been identified among wild birds in the state is awaiting confirmation by the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health's Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut.

Animal health officials are also examining the carcasses of 20 chickens found dead on 15 November at a small holding near the state town of Barth, Backhaus said. The remaining 20 chickens and a number of pigeons at the property were destroyed as a precautionary measure, he said.

Backhaus said a separate suspected outbreak of H5 last weekend at a poultry farm in the village of Mesekenhagen is also under investigation.

Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Bosnia and Herzegovina and South Africa have all imposed poultry import restrictions, Backhaus said.

"The impact of the current avian influenza incident in Germany and parts of Europe on international trade was to be expected and we are taking this as an opportunity to continue to work meticulously on disease management in order to minimise potential economic losses for companies," Backhaus said.