France steps up security against bird flu
French government raises alert status from "negligible" to "low risk" in an effort to prevent bird flue to cross over from Britain and Hungary.
PARIS, Feb 5, 2007 (AFP) - The French government said Monday it was stepping up checks and safety measures after the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu was discovered in Britain and Hungary.
*sidebar1*Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin will meet with the ministers concerned on Tuesday to "put together a plan which will be implemented in the coming days," a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture said.
The government announcement followed recommendations from the French Food Safety Agency (AFSSA) which advised raising the alert status from "negligible" to "low risk".
The change of alert status will see a greater number of tests carried out on birds to check for H5N1, a call for the public to inform the authorities of any wild bird deaths, and a general increase in bird surveillance.
The full extent of the government's measures were to be made known at a press conference on Tuesday.
The British outbreak comes just weeks after the deadly virus was discovered on a goose farm in southeastern Hungary, in the first detection of the disease in the EU since August 2006.
Russia and Japan have suspended bird importation from Britain, while Ireland has stopped the import of birds for shows.
Subject: French news, Bird flue, H5N1, Britain