Bird flu epidemic spreads in many countries in South America, Brazil, a major exporter of chicken, raises its vigilance
The bird flu epidemic has recently spread in Peru, Ecuador and other South American countries. Argentina and Uruguay reported their first confirmed cases of bird flu on the 15th. As a major exporter of chicken, Brazil has raised its vigilance.
Countries including Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia have reported their first confirmed cases of bird flu in recent months, according to Reuters.
Peru and Ecuador each declared a three-month state of health emergency in their countries at the end of November last year to curb the spread of bird flu in these two neighboring countries. Ecuador’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries said more than 1.1 million poultry had died so far in the country.
On the 15th, Argentina found bird flu virus in wild birds, and Uruguay detected the virus in five black-necked swan carcasses. The two countries each declared a state of national health emergency.
“It is very important to separate wild birds from domestic poultry, especially from food and water sources,” a technician from Uruguay’s agriculture ministry told a news conference.
Brazil’s meat industry has been on high alert since late last year as cases of bird flu emerged in neighboring countries. The emergence of the latest cases in Uruguay and Argentina has raised concerns in Brazil.
Brazilian Agriculture Minister Carlos Favaro said on the 15th that Brazil recently tested three suspected cases of bird flu and the results were negative. Brazil, the world‘s largest chicken exporter, will step up preventive measures as bird flu spreads in South America, he said. Brazil has no confirmed cases of avian influenza.
Bird flu viruses are often carried by wild birds and then spread to poultry. David Starknecht, director of the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Research Group at the University of Georgia in the United States, said the long-distance migration of birds allowed the bird flu epidemic to spill over to more parts of South America.
More than 20 experts and farm owners interviewed by Reuters generally believe that the wild circulation of bird flu virus shows that the record bird flu epidemic will not disappear on farms anytime soon, and that farmers need to be vigilant against the virus all year round. It is not just to strengthen prevention and control during the season of wild bird migration.
The prevalence of avian influenza viruses has increased the threat to the global food supply chain. The spread of bird flu in North America and other places has caused some countries to implement import bans, and the price of eggs in some regions has reached a record high.
According to a related report by the Associated Press in January this year, in the past year, a total of about 58 million poultry in the United States were culled due to the bird flu epidemic, of which more than 43 million were laying hens. In key egg-producing regions such as Iowa, some chicken farms lost more than 1 million chickens. The avian flu epidemic has superimposed feed and freight prices, and the operating costs of chicken farms have increased, resulting in rising egg prices in the US domestic market. (End) (Xinhua News Agency special article)
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