ROME (AP) _ Croatia and Switzerland announced a temporary ban on poultry from Italy on Friday, saying they wanted to keep a bird flu outbreak in Italy from spreading to their flocks.

The outbreak has forced the slaughter of more than 3 million birds in Italy since Christmas.

Italian authorities said Friday they were stepping on checks on turkeys, chickens and eggs in infected regions to try to confine the epidemic.

Authorities say infected turkeys and chickens are a threat only to other birds and not to humans who eat them.

Croatia's Agriculture Ministry announced its ban in a statement carried by state-run news agency HINA. The ban also forbids transport of Italian poultry through Croatia.

Switzerland announced a similar ban, citing the outbreak in nine Italian provinces.