Reuters CAIRO: President Hosni Mubarak proposed a law on Wednesday to bar trade and transport of live birds to help prevent the spread of the bird flu virus that has so far killed 13 Egyptians, state media said. The draft law, sent to the upper house of Egypt s parliament for consideration, could impose a 6-month jail term on violators in addition to a fine of up to LE 10,000 or up to the value of the birds, whichever is greater. Egypt has seen more human cases of bird flu than any other country outside of Asia, and with 11 cases so far this year is one of the two hardest-hit countries worldwide for 2007, along with Indonesia. The draft law forbids the transport or sale of live birds or poultry, or offering them for sale in provinces and cities. It also bars transporting or selling waste from infected farms, state news agency Mena said. Since the outbreak of bird flu in Egyptian poultry in February 2006, 29 Egyptians have contracted the H5N1 virus. Most of those who fell ill were reported to have had contact with sick or dead household birds. An animal health official who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press said that samples taken from live birds on sale in Egyptian markets have tested positive for the bird flu virus. The official said opportunists were also purchasing birds from infected farms and selling them at cheap prices, and that some farms had sold infected birds at below the market price. Officials feared these birds could end up in household flocks and spread the disease. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has said that Egypt was one of three countries that still do not have sufficient bird flu controls in place. But in a sign that Egypt could be tightening up restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus, the governor of the southern province of Aswan ordered a cleansing operation after recent human infections there. While infections had previously been largely concentrated in the Nile Delta in northern Egypt, three children have tested positive for bird flu in Aswan since March 14. Mena reported that authorities would remove all birds nests from Aswan and nearby Kom Ombo and would confiscate household birds in some parts of province. Mena said authorities would set up roadblocks on highways and at the entrances and exits of towns to prevent the entry of vehicles carrying live birds and feed. The decision indicated authorities would also organize campaigns to inspect local markets to prevent the sale of live birds. Egypt has barred city dwellers from keeping birds at home, but has not put the same restrictions in place in the countryside, where 5 million families depend on poultry as a main source of income and nutrition. Health experts fear the H5N1 virus could mutate into a form that passes easily from human to human, sparking a pandemic that could kill millions.