The EU's Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health today approved a European Commission proposal to prolong until 23 April the suspension of imports of live poultry, poultry meat and products, eggs and pet birds from the USA.

These import restrictions were imposed after the confirmation of a highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in Texas in February.

"The current disease situation and available information do for the moment not allow a reduction of the protective measures to a confined area," the Commission said.

The Commission said the situation will be reviewed at the next meeting of the committee, scheduled for 30 March. At this meeting the bird flu situation in Canada will also be reviewed.