Flu alert: Ban on meat import | india | Hindustan Times
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Flu alert: Ban on meat import

CONFIRMED CASES of the H5N1 strain of the dreaded bird flu have been reported from just seven countries since 2003 but the Indian government has pressed the panic button and banned the import of all livestock and livestock products.

india Updated: Feb 10, 2006 12:38 IST

CONFIRMED CASES of the H5N1 strain of the dreaded bird flu have been reported from just seven countries since 2003 but the Indian government has pressed the panic button and banned the import of all livestock and livestock products.

A government notification on Thursday banned the import of domestic and wild birds, processed and unprocessed meat as well as meat products and even semen from wild birds.

The ban has been extended to live poultry, one-day-old chicks, ducks, turkeys and newly hatched avian species, hatching eggs, eggs and egg products, feathers, live pig and pig-meat products, and pathological and biological material used in research.

All products of animal origin derived from birds and intended for use in animal feeding and for agriculture or industrial use have also been banned. The ban has come into immediate effect under the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulations) Act of 1992. It will be in force till further orders, the notification said.

The highly infectious H5N1 strain of the bird flu has infected 166 and killed 88 people in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Iraq, Turkey, Thailand and Vietnam since 2003. “Some countries, such as those in the EU, have banned the import of bird and pig products from countries where bird flu has been reported but a universal ban is unnecessary at this stage as it’ll just create a panic,” said a WHO public health expert.

All bird species are thought to be susceptible to bird flu, which incubates in pigs. Migratory birds like wild ducks