Argentina Suspends Poultry Exports As First Industrial Case of Bird Flu Confirmed

File photo: Unwanted, dead or alive. This UK chicken cannot enter Barbados due to an outbreak of highly contagious bird flu in Britain.
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Illustration shows person holding test tube labelled "Bird Flu\
A person holds a test tube labelled “Bird Flu”, in this picture illustration, January 14, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Argentina has confirmed its first case of bird flu in industrial poultry, its agriculture secretary said on Tuesday, causing it to suspend avian product exports and raising fears the disease could spread and hurt exports from the South American nation.

The case was detected in the southern province of Rio Negro, an area with ​​low poultry density, Secretary Juan Jose Bahillo said on Twitter.

“Our poultry products continue to be safe for Argentines. The suspension of exports responds to the requirements of international regulations,” he said, adding that the measure from the country’s food safety agency aimed to avoid further spread.

Some 25 cases have been confirmed so far, mostly in wild birds. The first cases were reported in mid-February and caused the country to declare a sanitary emergency.

Poultry products generate exports for Argentina valued at just over $350 million per year.

Reporting by Walter Bianchi; Writing by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Tom Hogue
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