France bans Thai meat amid flu scare
PARIS, Jan 22 (AFP) - In a response to the deadly bird flu outbreak, France has decided to remove from the market all fresh meat imported from Thailand since January 1, the agriculture ministry said Thursday.
Earlier, the European Commission warned that the European Union – the second-biggest importer of Thai poultry – could ban imports of Thai chicken if an outbreak of bird flu is confirmed in the Asian nation.
The government in Bangkok has reported three suspected human cases of avian influenza, which has already killed at least five people in Vietnam.
France’s agriculture ministry also said that Paris would step up monitoring of passengers coming into the country from Asia, until officials have a clearer view of the severity of the bird flu outbreak.
Agricultural attaches working in French embassies across Asia have set up a information network to keep tabs on the developing health situation. France only imports a small quantity of Thai poultry – about 7,000 tonnes in 2003 – mainly for use in pre-prepared dishes.
Subject: France news