Brazil has confirmed its first case of avian influenza (bird flu) in a non-commercial or “subsistence” farm this week.
The country’s Ministry for Agriculture and Livestock (Mapa) said that the case had been detected in a flock containing chickens, ducks, and geese in the municipality of Serra, in the state of Espírito Santo.
The ministry said that it was important to note that the confirmed case in a backyard flock does not bring restrictions to the international trade of Brazilian poultry products.
“Consumption and export of poultry products remain safe,” the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday (June 27).
Officials said that sanitary measures are being used to contain and eradicate the outbreak.
Surveillance of domestic bird populations in the region where the outbreak was detected are also being intensified.
Depending on how the investigation into the case evolves, the ministry said that new measures may be adopted to prevent the spread of the virus and protect the national poultry industry.
This is Brazil’s first confirmed case of bird flu in poultry raised for subsistence since the virus entered the country on May 15.
Currently, Brazil has recorded 50 cases of the virus in wild birds in the states of Espírito Santo; Bahia; Paraná; Rio de Janeiro; Rio Grande do Sul; Santa Catarina; and São Paulo.
The Brazilian government said that communication about the disease and the main prevention measures are being reinforced in a bid to spread awareness among the public and poultry breeders.
The emphasis is on the immediate notification of suspected cases of the disease and to strengthen biosecurity measures in poultry production establishments.
The Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA) has highlighted the transparency and excellent work in monitoring bird flu carried out to date by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.
The organisation said that this outbreak does not change Brazil’s status as free of bird flu within the World Organisation for Animal Health (WHOA) standards, since commercial production continues without any registration.
ABPA said it is not expected that any changes will occur in the flow of exports and there is no risk to product supply.
However, it is understood that Japan has temporarily suspended poultry imports from the state of Espírito Santo following the confirmed case.