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Brazil recently declared a state of animal health emergency for 180 days in response to the country’s first-ever detection of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus in wild birds.
Infection by the H5N1 subtype of avian flu in wild birds does not trigger trade bans, based on guidelines of the World Organisation for Animal Health. However, a case of bird flu on a farm usually results in the entire flock being destroyed and it can trigger trade restrictions from importing countries.
Brazil, the world’s biggest chicken meat exporter with $9,7 billion in sales last year, has so far confirmed eight cases of the H5N1 in wild birds, including seven in Espirito Santo state and one in Rio de Janeiro state.
The country’s agriculture ministry said it has created an emergency operations centre to co-ordinate, plan and evaluate “national actions related to avian influenza.”
Although Brazil’s main meat-producing states are in the south, the government is on high alert after the confirmed cases, as avian flu in wild birds has been followed by transmission to commercial flocks in some countries.
Over the weekend, the Health Ministry said samples of 33 suspected cases of avian influenza in humans in Espirito Santo, where Brazil confirmed the first cases in wild birds last week, came back negative for the H5N1 subtype. – Reuters
Avian influenza: ‘Don’t approach, touch, or handle seabirds’
Anton Bredell, Western Cape minister of local government, environmental affairs and development planning, supports the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) in its call to the public not to approach, touch or handle seabirds, as four new cases of avian influenza have been detected in the Boulders Penguin Colony, and a further seven cases are suspected, according to a statement by the TMNP.
Birds at the forefront of transformative tourism in South Africa
BirdLife South Africa recently won two awards at the prestigious Responsible Tourism Awards, presented at World Travel Market Africa in Cape Town, for their inclusive and transformative work in the tourism sector. These annual awards are presented to projects and organisations across Africa who are working towards socially and environmentally sustainable travel and tourism.