January 9, 2017 / 11:28 AM / 7 months ago

Iraq widens poultry import ban to Serbia, Finland and Britain

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BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq widened a ban on live and frozen poultry imports to include Serbia, Finland and Britain on Monday due to concerns over the spread of bird flu, the government said in a statement.

The country imports nearly 50 percent of its annual poultry needs, depending on national production, deputy Agriculture minister Dr. Mahdi al-Qaisi said.

Iraq announced a ban on French imports of poultry products in December 2015 and widened it in January and May last year to include two dozen countries.

In 2016 Iraq reported its first outbreak in 10 years of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus.

Reporting by Saif Hameed; Editing by Alexander Smith

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