Egypt slaughters French ducklings amid flu fears

24th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

CAIRO, Oct 23 (AFP) - Egypt's civil aviation authority slaughtered thousands of French ducklings on Sunday after it was ordered earlier this week to comply with a ban on imports of live birds and poultry products to keep out bird flu, an airport official said.

CAIRO, Oct 23 (AFP) - Egypt's civil aviation authority slaughtered thousands of French ducklings on Sunday after it was ordered earlier this week to comply with a ban on imports of live birds and poultry products to keep out bird flu, an airport official said.

"The French ducklings arrived a day before the civil aviation authority enforced the import ban on all airlines Friday but there was some confusion about whether we should let them into the country," the official said on condition of anonymity.

He said close to half of the 30,000 ducklings that reached Cairo on board an Air France plane Thursday had died after their container was impounded.

"The Egyptian importer asked us to cull (the remaining ducklings) on Sunday because by that time it was clear the consignment would not be allowed inside Egypt," the official said.

The ducklings were sprayed with chemicals and buried on the airport grounds.

A German shipment of turkey chicks and another of ducklings from the United States that also arrived in Cairo airport on Thursday were however cleared.

The ban on imports of live birds and poultry products was declared by Egypt's council of ministers on October 11 but the civil aviation authority only ordered all airlines -- including civilian and cargo planes -- to comply ten days later.

Should poultry-laden foreign planes still land in Cairo despite the ban, importers can decide whether they want to re-export the birds or have them culled.

Egypt has called off the bird-hunting season this year and next in response to the global bird flu scare.

The authorities have also set up 27 observation posts along the country's borders and territorial waters to collect statistics about migratory birds potentially infected with the avian flu virus.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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