US, Mexico, Canada to Work Together on Tackling Avian Flu

GLOBAL - The US, Canada and Mexico and their respective poultry and egg industries have jointly announced that they are working to enhance collaboration on avian influenza.
calendar icon 20 January 2016
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The groups are aiming to harmonise procedures for responding to possible future detections of the virus, enhance sharing of technical information, and to minimise trade disruptions that can result from flu detections in commercial poultry.

Government animal health authorities from the three countries, together with the heads of trade associations that represent the poultry and egg industries, signed a Letter of Understanding (LOU) on avian influenza during a ceremony in Los Cabos, Mexico.

The agreement is the culmination of discussions begun in late 2014 in Washington DC, between USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) and the National Union of Poultry Farmers (UNA), trade organisations that represent the interests of the poultry industries in the US and Mexico.

The arrangement also creates a tripartite working group comprised of government animal health officials and industry representatives from the three countries that will serve as a forum for regular scientific discussions on avian flu, which will also consider any recommendations involving made by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

“The relationships that exist between our industries and governments in these three countries are unsurpassed, and we’re pleased to participate in signing a document that formally links our governments and industries in an unprecedented manner,” said Jim Sumner, president of USAPEEC.

“We’re hopeful that this agreement will be an important tool to provide our industries an adequate level of protection from poultry diseases while minimising any impact on trade.

"We also hope this will set a precedent for other governments and countries around the world to follow.”

The president of Mexico's UNA, Jorge Cadena, said that producers in Mexico are working together with the government to certify farms in good production practices and improve sanitation to reduce the risks of contamination of flocks with avian influenza.

He said the working group should promote the modernisation of harmonised legislation among the three countries, to better protect more than 500 million consumers of poultry products in the region.

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