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Germany

Germany Bans Bird Imports from Russia

Several German states outlawed the import of birds and feathers from Russia and Kazakhstan Friday after the outbreak of a new strain of avian flu that can be transmitted to humans, authorities said. "The expansion of protective measures is aimed at preventing the import of the avian flu virus via trade routes," the consumer affairs minister in the state of Hesse, Wilhelm Dietzel, said. The ban has been implemented in the states of Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania as well as Hesse. Dietzel said the ban on the import of any birds and untreated feathers from the two countries was being enforced at Germany's biggest airport in Frankfurt and other major hubs. Russian officials confirmed on July 29 that bird flu found in Novosibirsk was of the H5N1 sub-type that can be transmitted to humans and has killed at least 60 people in parts of Southeast Asia since 2003. Russia began a mass cull this week to contain the spread. Meanwhile Kazakhstan carried out a cull after bird flu was found at a farm close to the Siberian border.

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