Health ministers from across the European Union have been meeting in the UK todiscuss how best to reduce the possibility of a widespread bird flu pandemic claiming many lives.Britain has already said it would purchase enough vaccine for the entire population if a pandemic broke out.
European Union veterinary experts meeting in Brussels have also agreed on extra measures after a fresh outbreak was discovered in Russia. They endorsed the ban on imports on pet birds and feathers from Siberia, to cover the whole territory of Russia, with the exception of Kaliningrad, Leningrad, Karelia, Murmansk and St Petersburg. The deadly strain of the virus has been confirmed in Russia, Turkey and Romania, and several other countries in Europe are carrying out tests after alerts. With the news of bird flu dominating headlines across Europe, the sale of poultry in many countries has fallen dramatically- by as much as 60 percent in some places. With the industry warning that thousands of jobs could be at risk, governments are trying to reassure the public that poultry is still safe to eat.