July 14, 2006

 

Argentina bans chicken from Brazilian state

 

 

Brazil's Agriculture Ministry said Thursday (Jul 13) that Argentina has suspended imports of chicken and chicken products from the border state of Rio Grande do Sul because of a case of Newcastle disease found on a small farm there last week.

 

Argentina is not a major importer of Brazilian chicken.

 

The local Estado newswire said Thursday that Japan has banned chicken exports from meat packers within a 50-kilometre radius of where the disease was confirmed. No other nations have banned chicken since Newcastle was reported on a private property in Vila Real, Rio Grande do Sul.

 

Brazil is the world's leading chicken exporter.

 

Unlike the H5N1 strain of bird flu, Newcastle disease is not harmful to humans and does not present a public health risk to consumers of poultry products. However, the virus can be spread by humans to other birds, particularly on contaminated footwear and clothing.

 

State and federal animal health officials had been monitoring the Vila Real property since early May after the property owner called about health problems in a few birds. Forty-four birds were culled on the small family farm to avoid spreading the virus.

 

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