Salem Radio Network News Sunday, June 4, 2023


Brazil declares 180-day animal health emergency amid avian flu cases in wild birds

By Ana Mano

SAO PAULO (Reuters) -The Brazilian government on Monday formally declared a state of animal health emergency for 180 days in response to the detection, for the first time in the country, of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in wild birds, according to a document signed by Agriculture Minister Carlos Favaro.

Infection by the H5N1 subtype of avian flu in wild birds does not trigger trade bans, based on guidelines of the World Organization for Animal Health. However, a case of bird flu on a farm usually results in the entire flock being killed and can trigger trade restrictions from importing countries.

Brazil is the world’s biggest chicken meat exporter with $9.7 billion in sales last year.

Brazil has so far confirmed five cases of the H5N1 in wild birds, including four in Espirito Santo state and one in Rio de Janeiro state.

Three of the four cases in Espirito Santo were confirmed in coastal cities of that state while one was not, suggesting the risk of contagion inland has risen.

Though Brazil’s main meat producing states are in the south, the government is on alert after the confirmed cases, as avian flu in wild birds has been followed by transmission to commercial flocks in some countries.

Shares in Brazil-based BRF SA, the world’s biggest chicken exporter, were up 3.6% before the government announcement and ended the day 0.5% lower.

Over the weekend, the Health Ministry said samples of 33 suspected cases of avian influenza in humans in Espirito Santo, where Brazil confirmed the first cases in wild birds last week, came back negative for the H5N1 subtype.

Two other new suspected cases are being still investigated, authorities said.

(Reporting by Ana Mano and Carolina Pulice; additional reporting by Peter Frontini; Editing by Bill Berkrot)


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