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Jalisco, Guanajuato Continue Vaccinating, Culling

26 March 2013
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

MEXICO - Mexico continues struggling with its latest bout of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) as the disease has been found at 46 commercial facilities and in two backyard operations.

The Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fishery and Food (SAGARPA) indicates that things are getting under control as vaccination programs ramp up and culling continues. The Secretariat of Economy (SE) is looking to manage prices and sanction violators found to be gouging consumers.

Press reports from 14 March 2013 are quoting Mexican Secretary of Agriculture Martinez y Martinez as indicating that the HPAI outbreak currently gripping the nation’s poultry sector is controlled. Reportedly, as of 12 March 2013, the industry and government had culled around 3.9 million birds; including almost 2.2 million broilers, almost 1 million layers, and almost 800,000 breeders. The article quotes the Secretary as indicating this should not have a significant impact on Mexican supply or egg prices (Me xico holds the greatest per capita egg consumption in the world as eggs are considered a low - cost protein source) as there are reportedly 140 million layers in the nation and only 1 million had been culled.

On 8 March 2013, the National Service of Health, Food Safety, and Food Quality (SENASICA), under the Animal Health Emergency National Campaign (DINESA), had reported that the HPAI outbreak in the States of Jalisco and Guanajuato, had been controlled inside the quarantined area and that there was no possibility of the disease spreading to neighboring states. Also, at that time, SENASICA had inspected 93 farms and 78 backyard locations in the State of Guanajuato and had detected the HPAI virus presence on 25 farms and two backyard facilities. In the State of Jalisco, 523 farms and 131 backyard locations had been inspected and SENASICA detected the virus on 21 farms. Unofficial figures from the National Poultry Association (UNA) estimate that the 2013 HPAI outbreak has cost the sector a pproximately US $32.1 million.

As part of the effort to prevent the HPAI virus from spreading, SENASICA and the Mexican industry are undertaking a massive vaccination program with the goal of administering around 210 million doses per month. SENASICA reported that 4 million vaccine doses have been administered in Guanajuato; 661,000 in Aguascalientes; and, 39 million doses had been applied in Jalisco since January 2013. In addition, SENASICA has authorized the application of 57 million vaccine doses for long-life birds in nine other states. This is to prevent the contamination of flocks that are the mainstay of domestic poultry production. As a priority, progenitor birds (producing breeder hens), breeders (producing broiler chicks and layer chicks for table eggs), and layers will be administered the vaccine. In the States of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Hidalgo, Tlaxcala, Michoacán and Morelos the vaccination will cover breeder hens, in Coahuila progenitors and breeders will receive vaccine doses. SENASICA reports the entire breeder and layer inventory in Puebla and Queretaro will be vaccinated.

On 25 February, SAGARPA published in Mexico’s Diario Oficial (Federal Register) the enforcement of the DINESA emergency campaign which grants SENASICA the authority to coordinate, with other government institutions, the appropriate measures to efficiently address the HPAI outbreak. These measures comprise the diagnosis, prevention, control and eradication of the HPAI H7N3 virus in the States of Jalisco and Aguascalientes and enlarge the campaign scope to the entire Mexican territory (i.e., 8 regions as defined in Article 134 of the Regulations of the Federal Animal Health Law).

Price Increases Remain a Concern

On 25 February, SE reported that as an effort to prevent domestic market price distortions, the compensatory duties on imported US chicken leg quarters (CLQ) would remain in abeyance. As previously reported, Mexico decided not to impose compensatory duties issued in its final determination of 6 August 2012, as June 2012 outbreak in the state of Jalisco had destabilized the market. Other measures SE has undertaken to control Mexican price increases was to halt the export of poultry meat. In addition, SE is surveying the market and threatening to prosecute price speculators with fines. Press reports from 14 March 2013, indicate that 13 retail establishments and 29 other businesses have been fined by the Mexican Consumer Protection Agency (PROFECO) under SE with amounts ranging from 600 pesos to 3.45 million pesos for allegedly unjustified price increases on eggs. Further, these establishments cannot further sell eggs until the fines are paid and, as such, cannot move their inventory. SAGARPA published the DINESA provisions in the Mexican Federal Register (DOF) on Monday, 25 February 2013.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

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