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EU court orders Poland to halt logging in ancient forest

A European court has ordered Poland to immediately stop cutting down trees in Europe's last pristine forest of Bialowierza.

The European Union's Court of Justice said the measure is temporary while European authorities analyse Poland's position on the matter.

Environmental groups and European officials said the logging threatens the continent's last unspoiled woodland, which is included on the Unesco list of World Heritage sites.

Poland's environment minister has authorised increased logging, saying it is meant to save the woods from a spreading infestation of bark beetle.

Poland has until August 4 to explain that policy to the European Commission, which will then decide whether to seek a permanent ban on the logging.

Environmental groups have welcomed the court's decision.

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