Latin American Countries Devise Strategy to Combat Avian Flu

GLOBAL - Leaders of poultry producing countries in Latin America have established strategies and a series of initiatives to combat and prevent outbreaks of avian influenza in the continent.
calendar icon 10 September 2015
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The strategies were announced after a series of meetings held in Guayaquil (Ecuador) since the beginning of the week.

They were proposed by the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA) and were coordinated within the Latin American Poultry Association (ALA).

The initiative includes a number of actions such as the creation of funds and contingency plans in all states in the region, and the establishment of a series of biosecurity measures. A working group was created in order to propose specific preventive actions for each productive area.

"In Latin America are some of the largest producers, exporters and consumers of poultry products, which generate not just wealth, but food security for the Latin American population.

"In this context, there is great concern about the occurrence of avian influenza outbreaks, which led to the establishment of this coordinated action at the continental level," said Francisco Turra, chief executive of ABPA and vice president of ALA.

The supply of poultry genetic material was also on the agenda of the meeting. During the meeting, producers highlighted the need to establish alternative suppliers from countries that have not been hit by influenza.

"Brazil basically caters to South America with poultry genetic material. We are seeking to consolidate sanitary agreements with the countries of Central America so that our industry is an alternative supplier to the continent, especially in times of health crisis," said Ariel Mendes, director of production at ABPA.

The action will also involve the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Permanent Veterinary Committee (CVP), to carry out risk analysis.

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