Health experts in Brussels are expected to decide today whether to ban the import of live birds, after requests from the British Government for tougher action against avian flu.
The decision follows confirmation that a parrot which died in British quarantine had contracted the H5N1 strain of the virus, which has led to the death of more than 60 people in south east Asia.
Europe's Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou is expected to recommend an increase in defensive measures, which have already led to bans on imports into the EU of live birds from Turkey, Romania, the Greek island of Chios and Russia.
However the final decision will depend on the outcome of talks today between national veterinary experts on the EU's Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, SCFCAH, who took emergency measures 10 days ago, ordering EU member states to keep farm poultry away from wetlands areas, frequented by migrating birds.
Although their orders came before any confirmed cases of the bird flu strain in the EU, the committee hoped to limit the risk of contact between free-range poultry and wild birds.
The quarantine system is also set to be reviewed. A Warwickshire turkey farmer said he had done everything he could to reduce the chance of the birds on his farm from getting bird flu.
"We do not know much about it so it is a concern. I think it has been blown out of proportion slightly," he said.
"We have always been quite good with bio-security but it is a great worry. What we have done is increased our cleaning of vehicles and the way people are protected, and our livestock is totally protected from vermin and wild birds.
"All the vehicles have been power washed with disinfectant. That is all we can do really. All our birds are protected with wire netting from wild birds but we are only a mile from a free range unit. So being so close to where the birds can mingle with wild fowl is worrying.
"We can cover our backs but we have to hope that other bird farmers will do the same.
"An issue that does worry me is that it is spreading through privately owned birds. They should have banned pet birds. I do think if we were French, we would have done that last week.
"Everyone has poultry in their back gardens in Asia, in different conditions and it is very different here."
He said he had received a letter in the post from the NFU and Defra.
"It is quite lengthy, about what we should do to protect ourselves and I am quite impressed. It says what to look for.
"The NFU have jumped on it and they are very efficient. That is what farmers want."
Speaking from an avian flu conference in Peterborough yesterday, NFU Regional Board Chairman for Poultry in the West Midlands David Mills said: "Because a parrot died does not mean we have H5N1 in this country now.
"We hope there will be no outbreak. All farmers are aware that high levels of biosecurity should be in place."