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UK farmers demand poultry probe

Britain's National Farmers' Union has asked for an investigation into Hungary's measures to combat the spread of bird flu, the Associated Press reported on Saturday.

The union is concerned that there is link between Hungarian meat imports into the United Kingdom and the recent bird-flu outbreak at a poultry farm in Suffolk. The farmers said the possible link raised „very serious questions” about control measures around bird-flu infected sites in Hungary, said AP.

András Dékány, spokesman of the Hungarian Agriculture Ministry responded to British reports by saying there is no link between the bird flu virus discovered in the United Kingdom and poultry imported from Hungary. Dékány said that there had been no exports of live birds or breeder eggs which could have communicated the virus to turkeys at the affected farm in East England.

The spokesman added that his ministry was scheduled to send a report to the European Commission on Tuesday to support its position. Hungary's British-owned SáGa Foods also excluded the possibility of their turkey products carrying the virus. Turkey producer Bernard Matthews, who owns the company, stopped importing partially processed turkey meat from Hungary after the British government concluded on Thursday that the H5N1 virus which caused the outbreak was identical to one found in Hungary in January. (Bloomberg, Magyar Hírlap)