Disease prevention strengthens Argentine poultry health, welfare

Senesa celebrated National Poultry Day on July 2
calendar icon 4 July 2023
clock icon 3 minute read

As part of the celebration of the Argentina's National Poultry Day, which took place July 2, the National Service of Agri-Food Health and Quality (Senasa) highlighted the strategic role of this value chain, both for the domestic market and at the international level.

Its commemoration, every July 2, is due to the arrival of the first Swiss immigrants to Colonia San José and is taken as the starting point of the breeding of birds in an organised way as a family economy.

Argentine poultry farming has experienced continuous and sustained growth in recent years due to the growing demand for export and local consumption. However, this can also lead to an increase in the risks of introduction and spread of poultry diseases that can affect production and public health.

Almost 90% of poultry activity is concentrated in the provinces of Buenos Aires and Entre Ríos, the rest is distributed in Santa Fe, Córdoba, Mendoza, Río Negro, Chubut, Salta, Jujuy and Tucumán.

Senasa established the regulatory framework in terms of health and care of the environment that is necessary to safeguard and conserve the health situation of this species.

The Aviary Health Program has launched activities focused on improving the national health situation, and the prevention of exotic and eradicated diseases of the country (such as Newcastle disease). It also establishes the control of other diseases of livestock impact (such as salmonellosis and mycoplasmosis).

These activities are grouped into pillars based on the health situation of the two main avian diseases that govern the world market: avian influenza and Newcastle disease. 

Regarding the latter, Argentina has the status of "free country". Avian influenza, however, was considered exotic since it had never been present in the country. However, in February 2023 its first detection in wild birds occurred in the Laguna de los Pozuelos, province of Jujuy and then it spread in backyard birds and industrially produced birds.

Senasa has also established management, hygiene and biosecurity requirements, through Senasa Resolution 1699/2019 to which poultry production establishments must conform, such as production farms for fattening, for egg production, for reproduction and incubation plants for their authorisation. These measures constitute the main barrier to entry and exit of diseases that affect poultry production.

In turn, Senasa implemented an Active and Passive Epidemiological Surveillance Program in poultry and non-poultry populations to monitor the situation of the mandatory notification diseases. This program involves the extraction of samples, which are sent to the Senasa Laboratory for processing in order to detect diseases early for their control and eradication.

Before receiving a notification of any of the syndromes established in the regulations or suspicion of these diseases, Senasa will proceed to the attention and inspection within twenty-four (24) hours in order to carry out the initial official epidemiological investigation and rule out or confirm the notified event.

At the same time, health programs, the technical foundations that underpin the legislation and the general problems of the health situation are evaluated and discussed within the scope of the National Commission for Poultry Health and Welfare (CONASA) constituted by Senasa, the representatives of the private sector of poultry farming and the official bodies of competence in the matter.

The joint work between the public-private sector strengthens the health and welfare of birds in order to maintain and strengthen the livelihoods of those who are engaged, industrial production, food security and public health.

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