Thailand and Japan are allowing imports of poultry produce from all parts of Hungary from October 7 and October 8, respectively, Hungary’s food safety authority (NÉBIH) said on Monday.
The authorities of the two countries are lifting the restrictions thanks to the eradication of bird flu, NÉBIH said on its website, adding the measure applied to live poultry, meat and meat products, as well as eggs and egg products.
Many major export markets, including Thailand and Japan, only impose restrictions on areas directly affected by the disease. On Sept. 8, Hungary was declared free of the disease. The last affected areas were Bács-Kiskun and Békés counties.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) on end of September urged the member states of the European Union (EU) to step up their surveillance and bio-security measures against possible outbreaks of avian influenza (bird flu) this year.
The warning came after outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) among wild and domestic birds in western Russia and Kazakhstan over the past few months, the ECDC said in a press release. The region is a known autumn migration route for wild water birds heading to Europe, it added.
Based on past bird migration data, northern and eastern Europe are considered to be the most vulnerable regions to new outbreaks. Moreover, the urgency of the warning increases if temperatures in the already affected areas were to suddenly drop, the ECDC said.
Assessing the risk of transmission of avian influenza viruses to the general public in Europe as “very low,” the report recommends that EU states immediately increase bio-security measures at poultry farms in particular, and advises warning veterinary and wildlife health authorities of the likely risk and urging them to promptly test dead or sick wild birds.