Experts warn of H5N1 risks through wild bird imports

A European food safety body has warned the European Commission that it should carefully consider the risks of resuming the import of wild birds into the EU to both animal and human welfare.

The EC had asked the European Food Safety Authority to carry out a risk assessment on both the animal health and welfare aspects associated with the import of such birds into the EU.

“Although the risk varies between captive wild bird species, there is a high probability of some carrying infectious diseases and transmitting them to other birds in the EU.”

Before the introduction of the 2005 EU import ban on wild birds, over 800,000 wild birds per year were imported as pets, for show or for zoos.