The results of laboratory testing ruled out the suspicion of avian influenza in Belgium. As a result, the protective EU measures were removed on 18 March 2003.
The Belgian authorities announced at the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health that no avian flu virus was found in the country. As the suspicion of an avian flu epidemic was ruled out on 18 March, the protective EU measures were lifted with immediate effect.
On 12 March, the Commission adopted a standstill for the transport of live Belgian poultry and hatching eggs to other member States, as well as within Belgium (see also
EurActiv, 13 March 2003) for fear the flu outbreak in the Netherlands could spread across the border.
In the Netherlands, restrictive measures will remain applicable until 27 March but will be reviewed by the Committee on 25 March.