WASHINGTON – An interim rule that amended the regulations to prohibit or restrict the importing live birds, poultry and poultry products from regions where any subtype of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is considered to exist is being re-opened by the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for review and comment.

APHIS’ previous restrictions covered only the H5N1 subtype of avian influenza. The changes are necessary to prevent the introduction of HPAI into the US, the agency relays.

Importing live birds or poultry that have been vaccinated for any H5 or H7 subtype of avian influenza, or that have moved through regions where any HPAI subtype exists, are also being prohibited by APHIS. These restrictions also apply to hatching eggs laid by birds or poultry vaccinated for the H5 or H7 subtype of avian influenza

APHIS is reopening the comment period in order to allow additional time for interested persons to comment on this rule. This notice was published in the May 3 Federal Register. Consideration will be given to comments received on or before May 18.