The government has banned the import of live pigs, pork products, egg and egg products, pathological material and biological products from birds and feathers from all countries.
In a notification by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, the government has also expanded the coverage to include all countries instead of its earlier decision to restrict the ban to Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Pakistan and Japan and other countries reporting bird flu. Under the new norms, captive birds, turkey and other birds will also be covered.
On January 29, the DGFT had first put restrictions on poultry imports following a reference form the animal husbandry department. Officials said instructions were also being issued to state chief secretaries to ensure bird flu was dealt with properly in the country.
The government had also imposed stringent checks at the borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh to ensure that poultry did not enter through the land route, they added.
Commerce ministry officials said while the import of chicken into India was negligible, the move had been taken to ensure that restaurants and hotels, which were importing birds like Turkey, would also stay away from such imports.
A large number of countries have already imposed a restriction on poultry imports. South Korea and Japan have also imposed a ban on the import of poultry products from the US, where a different strand of the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza virus had been found.
The list of countries that have reported a ban on poultry imports to the World Trade Organisation during the last week includes Switzerland, Philippines and Columbia. These countries generally import poultry from China, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Chinese Taipei, Taiwan, Cambodia and Hong Kong, to name a few.In addition, New Zealand has decided to restrict the import of poultry and poultry products from the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela to prevent the spread of Texas Root Rot.