The Swiss Federal Veterinary Office has today (Friday) announced a ban on imports of birds, eggs and feathers from Russia and Kazakhstan in a bid to combat the spread of avian flu.

The ban is an extension of the existing ban on imports from a range of Asian countries. However, the office played down the risk of Avian Flu appearing in the Swiss poultry flock, saying that experts thought the chance was small. However it can not be ruled out. The best defence would be alertness on the part of poultry keepers, it said. It called on them to contact a vet as soon as there was any suspicion of bird flu.