Iraq bans egg import from Iran following bird flu case reports

Iraq bans egg import from Iran following bird flu case reports

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 22

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Iraq has banned egg imports from the Islamic Republic following reports on outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu virus in some farms in the country.

Farzad Talakesh, the secretary of Iran's Egg Layer Poultry Breeders Union said that the ban was imposed on June 18, after the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) published a report on the case.

He added that the virus has not spread around the country and the infected farms are limited to Iran 's northern Mazandaran province, the Islamic Republic's Mehr news agency reported June 22.

Iran's Veterinary Organization is currently negotiating with Iraqi officials to ensure them that Iran's exported eggs and chickens are not from the infected region and are safe.

It should be noted that the H5N1 virus also detected in a number of poultry farms in Sulaymaniyah, a province in northern Iraq along the Iranian border in mid-May, which was the first time that Iraq has reported H5N1 since the summer of 2006.

Iraq also imposed a temporary ban on imports of Turkish chicken amid bird flu scare in May.

While Iraq has imposed ban on imports from Iran, the Islamic Republic's other egg and chicken importers have not made a decision on the issue so far, according to the Islamic Republic officials.

Talakesh said that Iran 's egg exports to its eastern neighbor, Afghanistan continues without any problem. He further said that Iran has banned transferring live chicken from Mazandaran to other provinces in order to control the virus.

The outbreak is now at the level of local poultry farms and industrial poultry units are not infected yet, Talakesh said.

While some Iranian officials insist that the bird flu case is detected only in Mazandaran province Mohammad Yousefi, head of the Association of Iranian Chicken Farmers said June 20 that a chicken farm in the Iranian eastern province of South Khorasan destroyed all its chickens after bird flu cases were reported in the region.

The Veterinary Organization is supervising the situation and will prevent the spread of the disease on to the markets, Yousefi said.

Iranian officials say that the disease was brought to the country by strong winds from Pakistan. However no new bird flu case was reported in Pakistan and the country has been declared a bird flu-free country.

On June 15, the OIE reported the outbreak of bird flu virus in Iran citing information from the country's agriculture ministry.

According to the report an investigation is continuing to trace the source of the outbreak.

Edited by CN

Follow the author on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh

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