As a result of the bird flu outbreak abroad, most of all in Europe, Brazil has been losing the chance to export 50,000 tons of chicken per month, according to Érico Antônio Pozzer, vice-president for the southeast region of the Brazilian Poultry Union (UBA).
In an attempt to balance supply and demand, Brazilian poultry breeders have decreased their production by 20-25%.
"We were exporting 250,000 tons of chicken monthly in the last four months of last year. This quantity fell to 200 thousand tons in January, 190 thousand in February, and rose again to more than 200 thousand tons in March.
"We are missing out on the chance to export around 50,000 tons of the product per month, chiefly in consequence of the news circulating in Europe. Consumption there is resuming, but there are excess stocks of the product, causing Brazilian exports to decline," he explained.
To prevent the outbreak from catching Brazil and the breeders off guard, in case it reaches Brazil, on Friday, April 7, the government launched the National Plan for the Prevention of Avian Influenza (bird flu) and the Control and Prevention of Newcastle Disease (named after the English city of Newcastle, where it appeared for the first time).
According to Pozzer, the most important feature of the plan is to monitor the arrival of the virus in Brazil, if this occurs.
"We have to identify the problem immediately, isolate the area, and slaughter all the animals, confining the problem to the region and taking steps to deal with the human element," he said.