Bird Flu Detected in Germany

Officials in Germany say at least a dozen dead birds found in the country have tested positive for bird flu (search).The finding comes as the EU confirmed moves to ban imports of captive live birds from other countries.

Further tests will now be carried on the infected birds in Germany (search) see whether they were carrying the deadly H5N1 (search) stream, which is lethal to humans.

However, officials said the geese in question may have died from poisoning and not the flu.

Bird flu has already been found in countries such as Britain, Turkey and Greece, prompting the EU ban.

Of the ban, the European Commission said: "These measures... aim to strengthen further the EU's defences against avian influenza.

Its proposals for a ban, in place until the end of November, were approved by veterinary experts from the EU's 25 member states.

The new ban covers captive live birds other than poultry imported for commercial purposes, while separate measures were agreed for private imports of pet birds, the commission said.

Meanwhile, the EU is expected to issue advice on Wednesday against eating raw eggs.

There has so far been no evidence that bird flu can be transmitted through eating.

But European Food Standards Agency deputy executive director Herman Koeter said the possibility could not be ruled out.

"If you don't eat raw eggs and always cook poultry thoroughly, there should be no problems," he added.