The European Commission has asked member states of the EU to implement a ban on all imports of feathers and live birds from Russia and Kazakhstan with immediate effect, due to confirmed outbreaks of avian influenza in these countries.

Russia and Kazakhstan have been added to the list of nine Asian countries (Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, China, Vietnam, North Korea, Pakistan and Malaysia) not allowed to export birds, their meat or products to the EU because of AI.

No ban is necessary for eggs, poultry meat or meat products on this occasion, as there is no trade between Russia and Kazakhstan and the EU in these products, the commission said. The Standing Committee on the Food Chain will review the decision when it meets in September.