Mercosur to receive US$500,000 to fight bird flu

29-08-2006 | |

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) signed a US$500,000 agreement with the countries of the Mercosur (the economic bloc that includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) aimed at improving facilities for detecting avian influenza.

The funds are intended to help prepare laboratories in Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina for bird flu diagnosis.

One of the main targets is the birds that arrive at different seasons of the year, in migratory cycles, according to the director general of the FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, José Graziano.

In an interview with Agência Brasil, the official Brazilian government news agency, Graziano said that the funding had been provided because “there are 5 billion birds on the continent and it is the worlds largest producer of white birds … a bird flu outbreak in any of the countries here would bring considerable economic losses, mainly to the smaller countries”.