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Latino Daily News

Thursday August 9, 2012

8 Million Birds Killed to Prevent the Spread of Flu in Mexico

8 Million Birds Killed to Prevent the Spread of Flu in Mexico

Photo: Bird flu in Mexico

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Some 8 million birds have been slaughtered in the western Mexican state of Jalisco to prevent the spread of the avian flu virus, the National Food Health, Safety and Quality Service, or Senasica, said.

A total of 65.8 million birds have been vaccinated at 245 farms in Jalisco’s Los Altos region, the Senasica said in a statement.

The virus is under control in the region, which is home to 42 cities, and 87 health specialists have taken 40,190 samples from 401 farms, the agency said.

The AH7N3 virus has been found at 41 farms, while the number of farms declared free of the virus has risen from 335 to 360, the Senasica said.

Hens found to be infected during the vaccination process are destroyed, the health agency said.

Inspections have been conducted at 342 farms in 19 states, the Senasica said, adding that the highly pathogenic virus was not found at the various sites.

Poultry farmers have been asked once again to avoid moving live birds and remains into areas that are free of the virus, the health agency said.

Bird flu does not pose a risk to people consuming meat or eggs, and the measures being taken are “aimed at protecting poultry production in the area,” the Senasica said.

Mexican health officials said in late June that the presence of the avian influenza virus had been detected in Jalisco and took emergency measures to prevent its spread.

The vaccine is being produced by the National Veterinary Biological Production Agency, or Pronabive, with assistance from three private pharmaceutical companies.

Mexico, according to National Poultry Producers Association figures, produces nearly 2.5 million tons of eggs and 1.2 million tons of meat annually.