Brazil and Neighbors Get UN Money to Monitor Birds Flying South

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) signed a US$ 500,000 agreement with the countries of the Mercosur, the economic bloc that includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, to proceed with the work, started last year, aimed at precocious detection of avian flu.

In February 2005, after a meeting in Brazilian capital Brasí­lia, the Fund had already invested US$ 500,000 to start the emergency assistance program, due to the occurrence of avian flu in Africa and Asia.

The funds turned to the Mercosur are going to improve the quality of information and to prepare laboratories in Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina for diagnosis.

One of the main targets is the birds that arrive at different seasons of the year, in migratory cycles, according to the director general of the FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, José Graziano.

Graziano said that the organization promotes this support "considering that there are 5 billion birds on the continent and that it is the world’s largest producer of white birds – and that an outburst in any of the countries would bring considerable economic losses, mainly to the smaller countries".

Brazil, he added, "depends a lot on export of poultry and eggs because this is a segment that generates plenty of income and jobs."

Graziano reminded that "three years after the first bout of avian flu, which happened in Asia, 250 million birds that were contaminated or suspect of being contaminated were sacrificed. There was also the death of 103 people who were victims of the disease."

He made it clear that no death was caused by the ingestion of eggs or meat from these birds. "The deaths were caused by contact with the infected birds mainly the wild migratory kind. People don’t spread avian flu, the same way a cold can be passed from one person to another. Avian flu is classified as a zoonosis (disease passed from an animal) and not a pandemic. And the virus of the disease dies at a relatively low temperature: that of a hot cup of coffee."

September is a critical month, according to Graziano, because that’s when the birds migrate to South America fleeing colder regions.

Tags:

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil: Rio’s Sambadrome Is Already Alive with the Carnaval Sounds

Fireworks explode over the packed parade stadium, samba drums erupt and thousands of dancers ...

Brazil Is Both a Rice Importer and Exporter

Brazil produces 12 million tons of rice per year. Whereas national production currently averages ...

Brazil’s Lula Pays 3rd Visit to Africa

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is back in Africa. The purpose of ...

Stronger Ties

"This is an exhilarating time in the Brazil-U.S. relationship: a time of change, a ...

Ethanol and Hydropower Put Brazil on the Right Side of Development, Says UN

Innovative energy technologies and policies have placed Brazil in a good position to realize ...

Brazil Renews Pact With US’s CDC

Brazil’s National Secretary of Health Oversight, Jarbas Barbosa, said, December 15, that the partnership ...

Brazil’s Community Pharmacies Sell Drugs Up to 90% Cheaper

By the end of this year, the Ministry of Health is expected to inaugurate ...

Exports Up 32% in Brazil

Brazil’s cumulative trade surplus so far this year stands at US$ 22.501 billion. This ...

41 Countries Discuss in Brazil How to Reforest

Forest specialists from 41 countries are gathered in Petrópolis, in the mountainous region of ...

New Prison Riots in Brazil Leave Three Dead and 245 Hostages

Prison riots in Brazil have killed three inmates. The deaths were reported Sunday and ...