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Georgia Takes Steps To Avert Arrival Of Bird Flu

(RFE/RL) 9 January 2006 -- Georgian authorities say they are taking steps to prevent a deadly outbreak of bird flu from spreading into the country from neighboring Turkey.

News reports say health officers are inspecting all marketplaces in the capital Tbilisi.

An official with the Tbilisi mayor's office, Levan Edilashvili, said today authorities were not sure all poultry meat and eggs sold on the city's markets had undergone proper sanitary inspection.

Also today, Agriculture Minister Mikheil Svimonishvili said not a single case of bird flu had been registered yet in Georgia, and that the deaths of poultry reported last week in the country's east had been caused by other infections.

Azerbaijan last week said massive deaths of farm birds in the southern Masally region, near Iran, were not caused by bird flu.

Both Georgia and Azerbaijan have banned poultry meat imports from Turkey.

(Prime News/Novosti-Gruziya)

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