Bird flu: Government to compensate producers

A AR$1 billion investment in the national agrifood authority and reinforced border controls were also announced.

The government will compensate poultry producers who lose animals to bird flu and has reinforced border controls amid a surge in cases of the disease.

The measures were announced in a press conference yesterday by Economy Minister Sergio Massa, Agriculture Secretary Juan José Bahillo, National Healthcare and Agrifood Quality Service (SENASA) president Diana Guillén and its vice-president Rodolfo Acerbi.

The national government will invest AR$1 billion (US$5.2 million) in SENASA for personnel, laboratory equipment, logistics, and infrastructure reinforcement for border checkpoints.

During the press conference, Massa said that bird flu had appeared in the country amid a historic drought in Argentina and a surge of mad cow cases in Brazil. “We are dealing with extraordinary conditions in a very particular moment in which the world needs Argentine proteins,” said the Minister.

Massa also said the program would incorporate government investment to compensate producers who lose animals to the disease, but did not provide further detail about how the compensation would work.

Guillén called the fight against the disease “a hand-to-hand combat.”

“The community and national and provincial entities are collaborating with us, by warning where dead or symptomatic birds appear. We want to stress that the disease is not transmitted if a diseased animal is not handled,” the SENASA president added. 

In total, eight cases have been confirmed among wild birds and backyard birds – the first was in Jujuy on February 14 and the latest in Córdoba on February 21. The disease has also been detected in Santa Fe and Salta. More than 100 reports of the disease, yet to be confirmed,  have been filed to SENASA so far.

The Agriculture Secretary is aiming to prevent the disease, so far only detected in small farms and wild birds, from entering the commercial poultry circuit in order to preserve Argentina’s health certificates and avoid interruptions to exports.

The new measures complement those announced a week ago, which include searching the areas where outbreaks have been detected; epidemiological surveillance at all border crossings with Chile, Bolivia and Uruguay; disinfection of vehicles; passenger control; mobilization of agents specialized in poultry and emergency management from SENASA offices at the borders; awareness campaigns aimed at the general public and commercial farms, among others.
You can report sightings of diseased or dead birds at local SENASA offices by emailing [email protected], by calling or sending a WhatsApp message to 11-5700-5704, by downloading the “Notificaciones Senasa” app, or on the SENASA website.


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