Argentina’s National Service of Health and Agro-Food Quality (Senasa) has confirmed the first case of avian influenza in commercial farms in the country. This follows outbreaks of the disease among wild and backyard birds.
One case of highly pathogenic avian flu, caused by the H5N5 virus, has been identified at a broiler establishment in Mainque in the province of Río Negro, south of the Patagonian zoophytosanitary barrier, in an area with low poultry density.
In line with international protocols, Argentinean health authorities have also declared a voluntary suspension of exports of poultry products.
Senasa decided to carry out the corresponding containment measures, previewed in the Avian Influenza Contingency Manual to prevent the virus from spreading to other commercial establishments.
Authorities, professionals and technicians from Senasa are already working to recover the avian influenza-free status and the resumption of poultry exports, which accounts for just 10% of Argeninean poultry production.
“Our dialogue with the private sector is constant, as our technicians continue reinforcing biosafety measures to deal with the situation and restore the health status of our country as soon as possible,” said Juan José Bahillo, Argentina’s secretary of agriculture, livestock and fishing.
From 177 notifications analysed by a laboratory, the entity has confirmed a total of 25 cases in wild birds (3), backyard poultry (21) and now the commercial sector (1). With regad to location, there are 13 in Córdoba, 4 in Buenos Aires, 2 in Río Negro, 2 in Santa Fe, 1 in Jujuy, 1 in Neuquén, 1 in San Luis and 1 in Salta.
In 2021, Argentina exported 216,700 tonnes of poultry (US$314.2 million in revenue). The country produced 2.29 million tonnes of poultry in the same year.
From that amount, 37% went to China (81,000 tonnes and US$141 million), 12% to South Africa, 11% to Chile, 7% to Saudi Arabia, 3.7% to the UAE and 2.4% to Russia.