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‘Bird Flu’ Outbreak in Mexico Spurs National Animal Health Emergency

By , Farms.com

Authorities in the state of Jalisco, Mexico’s largest chicken farming region are moving quickly to contain an outbreak of the avian flu. The flu has been confirmed in two municipalities in the state of Jalisco. Health inspectors have examined 150 poultry farms and have found the virus detected in 10 flocks. It’s been estimated that two million birds have been contaminated that have since died a natural death or have been culled to prevent the virus from spreading any further. On Monday health inspectors declared a national health emergency to keep everyone on high alert. In the meantime, the ministry has ordered vaccinations from Asia to help combat the flu.

"We have activated a national animal health emergency... with the goal of diagnosing, preventing, controlling and eradicating the Type A, sub-type H7N3 bird flu virus," the ministry said on Monday.

The region affected produces 11 percent of the country’s poultry meat and 50 per cent of its eggs. Mexico exports some of its chicken to the United States with over 630,000 metric tonnes projected for 2012 according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Although, the outbreak won’t have much impact on export markets, it could have a devastating impact on the local economy since poultry farming contributes up to 40 per cent of the country’s livestock production.

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