Mexico working to design a traceability system for pigs, poultry

The Mexican Government says it's essential to establish traceability schemes for the pigs and poultry industries

Through epidemiological surveillance, the National Service for Agrifood Health, Safety and Quality (Senasica) protects almost 600 million birds and 19 million pigs, according the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

It is essential to establish traceability schemes for pigs and poultry in the coming years, since they represent, together with cattle, the most important sources of animal protein in Mexico and the world, said Francisco Javier Trujillo Arriaga, director in chief of the National Service for Agrifood Health, Safety and Quality (Senasica). With the aim of strengthening the health and safety of meat foods produced in Mexico, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development works with the pig and poultry industry to design traceability systems that allow knowing their origin, transit and final destination.

The above was announced by Trujillo Arriaga during the virtual seminar "2022 Challenges for compliance with plant and animal health regulations with a view to consolidating the expansion of Mexican agro-exports.”

The federal official commented that it is essential to establish traceability schemes for pigs and poultry in the coming years, since they represent, along with cattle, the most important sources of animal protein in Mexico and the world. He specified that in our country, more than 90 percent of the livestock industry is dedicated to the breeding, fattening, slaughter and processing of poultry, pork and beef. At present, there is only a traceability system for cattle.

He added that this type of scheme would support and provide added value to national livestock, since it would be complemented by epidemiological surveillance actions carried out by official veterinarians and producers for the direct benefit of consumers and commercial partners of the country.

Trujillo Arriaga indicated that the entry of animal and plant pests and diseases is a permanent threat to countries, since they can impact economic development and even put public health at risk in the case of zoonotic pathogens.

He stressed that in animal health, the Senasica systematically analyzes herds of more than 50 million cattle, goats and sheep flocks of almost 600 million animals as well as herds of almost 19 million pigs in order to give auditable testimony of the absence of diseases of quarantine interest.

In the field of plant health, the Agriculture official explained that epidemiological surveillance is even more complex than in animal health, since there are more than 100 plant products that are susceptible to multiple pests and diseases of economic importance, such as the Mediterranean fly and banana fusarium.

He added that through well-applied protocols, Mexico's sanitary status is recognized internationally, since over the years it has demonstrated to its trading partners the absence of pests and diseases and, in case of incursions, it has shown to have the ability to contain and eradicate outbreaks.

In the area of ​​food safety, the chief director of Senasica pointed out that the Agriculture unit promotes programs to reduce the risks of physical, chemical and microbiological contamination of food, such as the Contamination Risk Reduction Systems (SRRC) and the Good Use and Management of Pesticides (BUMP).

He indicated that the main challenge for Mexican technicians is to extend the certifications in good practices to a greater number of producers, which has the benefit of guaranteeing the absence of pathogens such as Salmonella and cyclospora and, thereby, maintaining the eligibility of domestic markets and more competitive foreign markets. 

The president of the National Agricultural Council, Juan Cortina Gallardo, stressed that the industry recognizes Senasica as a national heritage and a great asset to enhance agricultural, livestock, aquaculture and fishing productivity.

He asserted that the main challenge is to maintain and strengthen the sanitary status and increase productivity with the same extension of the production units, for which it is necessary to adopt more and better technologies, which at the same time are sustainable.

He indicated that thanks to the joint work with agriculture, the sector grows every year, to the point that it currently represents about 10% of total exports and generates more foreign currency than sales abroad of crude oil, tourism and direct foreign investment.

Cortina Gallardo pointed out that, through compliance with sanitary measures and the adoption of good practices, the industry seeks to expand the internal market and diversify the external market, mainly to the Middle East, the European Union and the main Asian markets such as China, Japan and Korea.

Mexico's Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development

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