Governments across Europe taking fresh measures in attempt to prevent the spread of bird flu.

Tests show the H5N1 virus avian influenza has spread west from the original source of the outbreak in south-east Asia to Europe.

Dead swans at Rügen Island in the Dead Sea and reports of more dead swans in Denmark are evidence that Bird Flu is spreading across Europe due to migrating birds. The disease has also been detected in Poland and Hungary and Slovenia has declared the entire country an area of risk.

As domestic poultry stocks have not yet been affected, the European Commission has said that as yet, there is no need for panic.  EU Commission for Public Health Markos Kyprianou advises European citizens that there is no need to stop eating chicken and that,

If we have outbreaks, we will control them.

However, the European Union's powers are limited to animal rather than human health.  Measures such as surveillance and protection zones around infected areas and a ban on poultry movements are triggered each time a member state reports a new case. Further checks on birds within the EU will be rolled out over the coming weeks.

Governments across northern Europe are now ordering farmers to keep their poultry flocks indoors to keep them separate from migrating wild birds. The EU has also warned that,

If domestic flocks here do become infected, it will have implications for human health not just for the poultry industry.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 15 February 2006. The reporter is Tony Connelly.