The Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health has met to discuss again the avian influenza situation in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
In the Netherlands, the existing restrictive measures have been extended until 17 June. In Belgium, the measures still applicable in the provinces of Antwerp and Limburg will expire on 11 June. In Germany, the restrictions will be limited to the part of North Rhine-Westphalia west of the Rhine from 3 June onwards and will expire on 24 June. The committee also adopted a set of supplementary measures to be carried out in the surveillance zones.
No new outbreaks have been confirmed in the Netherlands since the end of April.
The committee voted in favour of a Commission proposal to extend until 17 June the existing measures to prevent the spread of the disease and to eradicate it. No live poultry, hatching eggs and fresh, unprocessed poultry manure or litter may be exported to other Member States or third countries and, with some derogations, no live poultry and hatching eggs may be transported within the Netherlands. The derogations apply to hatching eggs, day-old chicks, ready-to-lay pullets and poultry for immediate slaughter.
Since yesterday the export of live poultry and hatching eggs from the whole country of Belgium is allowed, with the exception of the provinces of Antwerp and Limburg.
The measures still applicable in those two provinces will expire on 11 June. Starting from 12 June, restrictions will only apply in the surveillance zones (10 km zones around the outbreaks).
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After the single outbreak of avian influenza on 9 May in the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia, no new cases have been reported. The committee therefore agreed to limit the existing measures to the part of North Rhine-Westphalia located west of the Rhine from 3 June onwards, provided that no new outbreaks are reported before that date. As a result of this, export of live poultry and hatching eggs from the rest of the area can restart as from that date. The remaining restrictions will expire on 24 June. These restrictions are: No live poultry, hatching eggs and fresh, unprocessed poultry manure or litter may be exported to other Member States or third countries and, with some derogations, no live poultry and hatching eggs may be transported within this area. The derogations apply to hatching eggs, day-old chicks, ready-to-lay pullets and poultry for immediate slaughter. Starting from 25 June, restrictions will only apply in the surveillance zone (10 km zone around the single outbreak).
Restrictions in surveillance zones
A set of measures to be carried out before the restrictions in the surveillance zones (minimum 10 km around confirmed outbreaks) may be lifted have been agreed by the Committee. Animal feed, litter and manure from infected holdings has to be removed and destroyed. The repopulation of these holdings can only take place after the introduction of sentinel birds has demonstrated the absence of any avian influenza virus.
The situation and measures with regard to avian influenza will be reviewed at the next meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health scheduled for 13 June.