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Croatia Finds Bird Flu Virus

October 23, 2005|From Reuters

ZAGREB — Croatian scientists have detected a bird flu virus in wild swans found dead at a fish pond, the agriculture ministry said on Friday. Croatia immediately banned hunting and transport of wild fowl and poultry.

"We have sent samples to Britain for further checks. There were six dead swans found in Orahovica fish pond in eastern Croatia," ministry spokesman Mladen Pavic told Reuters.

A government statement issued by Prime Minister Ivo Sanader said the results of those checks were expected in two days but added there was no cause for alarm.

"We are taking all necessary measures to prevent the virus from spreading. We don't think there is any danger for people," he said.

The European Commission said it was preparing a ban on imports of poultry from Croatia.

"The European Commission is preparing a decision to ban the import of live poultry and poultry products from Croatia which will be adopted by urgent procedure on Monday," the EU executive said in a statement.

The Croatian government had assured the Commission that no live poultry and poultry products would be dispatched from the former Yugoslav republic to the European Union, the Commission added.

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