Chinese poultry slips through border controls

15th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

15 February 2006, MADRID — The government is to strengthen border controls against poultry coming to Spain after police seized 500kg of chicken and duck from China which had evaded checks.

15 February 2006

MADRID — The government is to strengthen border controls against poultry coming to Spain after police seized 500kg of chicken and duck from China which had evaded checks.

A lorry filled with poultry and rabbit was seized in Benidorm, near Alicante, by police.

It appeared the meat had slipped through sanitary controls and was bound for Chinese restaurants in the town which is popular with expats and tourists.

Elena Salgado, minister of health, said border controls are to be tightened shortly but did not disclose in what way.

She said importing poultry, poultry products or eggs from countries where there had been an outbreaks of bird flu was banned.

Regional governments are to be sent the first million doses of Tamiflu, the antidote to the human form of avian flu between May and June.

She said it was not a vaccine and should only be taken if a person has the disease.

Spain has a stock of this drug and expects to take delivery of enough to cover 20 percent of the population of over 44 million later in the year.

Salgado added that at the moment the world was dealing with a disease which affected animals not humans.

She said she wanted to reiterate a message of "calm and tranquillity" with regard to the potential risk to people in Europe.

Since 2003, the deadly human version of bird flu, called H5N1, has led to the slaughter of 150 million birds; 166 people have been infected.

These human cases have mainly been in South East Asia where people have spent long periods working with birds and where public health levels are much lower than in Europe.

Salgado said people should cook chicken properly and never eat raw eggs, even though no cases of H5N1 have been proven to originate from eating poultry.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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