Bird flu: Ukraine halts Russian poultry imports

Ukraine has suspended imports of poultry from the southern Russian region of Krasnodar due to suspected bird flu, the Agriculture Ministry said Thursday. An outbreak of bird flu has been registered in Krasnodar, the Russian federal agricultural oversight agency, Rosselkhoznadzor, said Monday. But it remains unclear what strain of the virus is involved. Ukraine's ministry said that the ban, applying to deliveries of live birds, eggs and bird meat as well as any poultry products, would last until final results of tests regarding the virus in the Krasnodar region are received. Russia recorded its first cases of bird flu in Siberia in 2005, and outbreaks have since occurred further west. There have been no human cases of bird flu reported in Russia. The H5N1 bird flu strain has killed at least 164 people worldwide since it began ravaging Asian poultry farms in late 2003, according to the World Health Organization.