Brazil Breaks Territory into ‘Little Countries’ to Avoid Spread of Chicken Disease

Beginning in 2006, poultry production in Brazil is expected to adopt the model used in cattle-raising. With the regionalization of activity, the transfer of live animals will be prohibited, facilitating control of outbreaks of diseases such as bird flu.

According to the vice-president of the Brazilian Poultry-Breeding Association Union (UBA, União Brasileira de Avicultura), Ariel Mendes, the proposal was discussed Tuesday, October 25, at a meeting between entrepreneurs and the ministers of Agriculture, Roberto Rodrigues, and Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan.

The purpose of the meeting was to organize a joint effort by the government and private enterprise to prevent the entry of bird flu in Brazil.

According to Mendes, the regionalization proposal was presented by the sector a year ago to the Ministry of Agriculture, which already has a timetable for the adoption of the program.

"Today the minister assumed a commitment to implement this program on December 15 of this year," Mendes said.

The new outbreak of bird flu arose in Southeast Asia and is beginning to spread to other countries, such as Russia and Greece. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), transmission of the disease to 36 people has already been confirmed.

According to Mendes, "by facilitating control of eventual outbreaks such as bird flu," the regionalization program permits states not affected by the disease to continue exporting.

"If an outbreak occurs in one state, you would allow the others to maintain their exports," he affirmed.

Mendes explained that, in the case of poultry-breeding, production should be developed separately in each state.

"Each state would function as if it were a country: Nothing comes in, and nothing leaves, except chicken meat," he affirmed.

According to him, beginning in January, 2006, the program will be implanted in seven states – Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Goiás – and in the Federal District.

Unrestricted commerce will only be allowed for poultry meat and egg production. The sole exception to the prohibition of live animal transfers will be for genetic matrixes (chicks). In this case, the chicks will have to come from poultry farms certified by the Ministry of Agriculture as free of bird flu.

The trucks that transport the birds will only be able to travel on certain roads, the so-called sanitary corridors, and they will have to pass through inspection posts on state borders. "The Ministry has already defined the corridors and the border control posts," he said.

Mendes said that the timetable establishes January 1, 2007, for the implantation of the program in Mato Grosso and 2008 for the rest of the states in the North and Northeast regions, as well as Rio de Janeiro and Espí­rito Santo.

Another measure defined during the meeting was the installation of detectors of organic material in airports. Passengers and baggage from countries with registered occurrences of the disease will have to pass through the detectors.

There is also a proposal to adopt mechanisms to incinerate leftovers of food served aboard airplanes. These measures will have to be negotiated with the Infraero (Empresa Brasileira de Infraestrutura Aeroportuária – Brazilian Airport Infrastructure Enterprise) in order to be adopted. Similar control mechanisms are expected to be applied in Brazilian ports as well.

Agência Brasil

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