Brazil declares “animal health emergency” for avian flu

The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture declared on Monday night an “animal health emergency” in the national territory, after confirming new cases of bird flu that brought the total in wild animals to eight.

The measure, which will be in force for a period of 180 days, seeks to “prevent it from reaching the production of birds for subsistence and commercial purposes, as well as to preserve fauna and human health,” the ministry said in a statement released in its website.

The emergency declaration was published in the Official Gazette of the Union after the authorities confirmed on Monday three new cases of bird flu for a total of eight in wild birds in the country.

Among them, seven were detected in the state of Espirito Santo and one in Rio de Janeiro, in the southeast region of Brazil, according to the official note.

According to the Minister of Agriculture, Carlos Fávaro, the declaration “enables the mobilization of resources” to act preventively and prevent the spread of the virus.

Brazil is one of the main producers and exporters of poultry meat, with 35% of the international market.

Despite the registration of cases, “consumers can continue consuming poultry meat and eggs without problems,” Fávaro told O Globo.

For its part, the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA) also highlighted in a statement that “there are no risks in the consumption of products.”

And he clarified that “Brazil continues to be recognized as free of the disease by the World Organization for Animal Health, since commercial production continues without records” of the virus.

The detection of new cases, he added, “should not have an impact on Brazilian exports” or on the supply of products.

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Among other points, the emergency extends the already arranged suspension of exhibitions, tournaments or fairs with agglomeration of birds.

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