EU bans Ukraine poultry imports due to avian flu outbreak

KIEV (Reuters) - The European Union (EU) has banned poultry imports from Ukraine due to concerns over avian flu, Ukraine’s food safety watchdog said on Tuesday.

The ban, which is for an indeterminate period, is linked to a recent case of avian flu in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson, the watchdog said in a statement.

The outbreak, the first in Ukraine since 2008, was not previously reported but the food agency said it had been discovered in early December at non-commercial farms.

Ukraine exported 32,000 tonnes of poultry and poultry products to the EU between January and October, a 20 percent increase year-on-year.

In November, the country restricted poultry imports from certain regions of Germany, Bulgaria and Hungary also due to avian flu. Neighboring Belarus has implemented similar bans.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Louise Heavens and Alexander Smith