HPAI H7N3 Outbreak Expands to Guanajuato Reproducing Farms

MEXICO - On 18 February 2013, the National Service of Health, Food Safety, and Food Quality (SENASICA) reported that lab tests confirmed the presence of a Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) serotype H7N3 virus in farms devoted to the production of hatching eggs for broiler production and table eggs in the State of Guanajuato. SENASICA confirmed the virus genetic sequence is similar to the 2012 outbreak in Jalisco and the early 2013 outbreak in Aguascalientes and Jalisco.
calendar icon 26 February 2013
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As of 19 February 2013, 12 farms (10 devoted to the production of fertile eggs for the production of broilers and 2 for producing table eggs) located in four municipalities in the State of Guanajuato have been found positive for the virus. The affected farms, property of Bachoco (the leading poultry manufacturer in Mexico), encompass a total population of 1.02 million birds.

SENASICA reported this information to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on 18 February 2013, and indicated that there were 647,742 susceptible birds, 53,553 positive cases, and 34,889 deaths. SENASICA reported that 612,853 birds were destroyed.

Federal and state authorities have installed 13 internal verification points to implement active and passive surveillance, quarantine, and movement controls along with the depopulation of birds and disinfection of facilities. SENASICA has denied the possible failure of sanitary controls or the failure to correctly apply measures from previous outbreaks. Rather, SENASICA has indicated that the HPAI H7N3 strain is a very complex strain that could remain active for long periods.

The press has started reporting market implications and affects on consumers. Even though Mexican government authorities have declared that there is no reason for egg and poultry meat prices to increase, speculative price movements reportedly have started to occur. Reportedly, the states of Guanajuato, Queretaro, Colima, Michoacán, Jalisco, Nayarit and Aguascalientes have reported a sudden increase in egg prices, however, due to the lack of available data, Post has not been able to confirm this, yet. In the meantime, the Mexican Government will continue monitoring prices to prevent price gouging and to protect consumers.

The State of Guanajuato, located in the Bajio area (Central Mexico), hosts 158 highly developed farm operations with an estimated population of 20 million birds. Guanajuato’s share in the domestic production of egg and broilers is 3 and 4 per cent; respectively.

According to USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Charts 1 and 2 below provide an indication of price movements and a comparison to US prices since late 2011.

Chart 1. Mexico: Major market retail egg prices at wholesale markets in US$/kg (left axis) and US egg prices at egg prices at US warehouses in US$/dozen (right axis)

Chart 2. Mexico: Major Mexican wholesale market, imported US-origin, and US wholesale CLQ prices in US$/kg
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