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U.S. poultry exports to European Union countries were banned for one month Tuesday because of concerns about the so-called bird flu.

The ban, which covers all bird and egg imports from the U.S., was enacted after a strain of the disease was found near San Antonio. The strain is believed to be less virulent than the one that is blamed for more than 20 deaths in Asia.

"It's important we adopt an approach which is consistent with the protection of animal health

and only take such measures which are proportionate to the risk this issue presents to the EU," said Health Commissioner David Byrne. EU farm ministers will consider whether to renew the ban on March 23.

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The EU previously banned the import of all poultry products from Thailand and Vietnam. South Korea and the Philippines have already banned U.S. poultry products. The U.S. is already grappling with a near-worldwide ban on its beef exports over mad-cow disease concerns.