Following recent outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Poland and Germany, the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health today voted in favour of a Decision confirming the eradication and control measures taken by those two Member States. Since 1 December 2007, the Polish authorities have reported a total of 9 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry and one outbreak in a shelter for wild birds. The last reported outbreak occurred more than 2 weeks ago in a laying hen flock in Sad³owo-Parcele, ¯urominski district, which was already within a restricted area set up following a previous outbreak in the vicinity. In response to the outbreaks, the Polish authorities applied the rigorous protection measures set out in the Avian Influenza Directive and in Commission Decision 2006/415/EC on H5 avian influenza in domestic poultry. These included culling all birds on the affected holdings and tightening the movement restrictions and biosecurity measures in the surrounding area. These measures were endorsed by the Commission and Member States. The Standing Committee today reviewed the protection measures in Poland and noted that the disease situation has clearly improved and appears to be under control. The German delegation also updated the Committee on the situation in relation to outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 in three small backyard flocks between 15 and 25 December. The outbreaks occurred in three different districts in the Land of Brandenburg, and epidemiological investigations could not establish any link between the outbreaks. The German authorities put in place the protection measures set out under EU legislation and the Commission adopted Decisions reinforcing these measures on both 17 and 26 December, the latter of which the Committee today endorsed. Finally, Member States were informed that the measures in place in Romania due to an outbreak of avian influenza in November were lifted in December, in light of the fact that there were no further outbreaks.
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