According to Paraguay's National Animal Health and Quality Service (Senacsa) President Dr. José Carlos Martin, there were already three confirmed outbreaks of avian influenza in the South American country's Chaco region by Sunday, while two others were still under investigation.
The highly pathogenic poultry disease is registered in home-breeding establishments with open-air sheds, and backyard poultry, in Mariscal Estigarribia, Colonia Neuland, and Filadelfia, in the department of Boquerón, Martin explained. The birds from those farms were culled and buried by Senacsa personnel following sanitary protocols.
Martin also said there were reports of two other possible outbreaks, one in Boquerón and the other in the department of Alto Paraguay, in the Chaco area.
Martin also explained that upon confirmation of the first cases, Senacsa immediately activated the specific sanitary measures corresponding to the National Animal Health Emergency System and arranged epidemiological surveillance in the areas of Mariscal, Neuland, and Filadelfia.
He added that the confirmation of the outbreaks was also reported to the World Organization for Animal Health and to regional organizations and neighboring countries.
The official also underlined the importance of the cooperation of citizens and poultry breeders in notifying any suspicion of diseases in their birds for immediate attention by Senacsa personnel and insisted that poultry farmers, even those with backyard poultry, should reinforce biosecurity measures and not handle dead or sick birds themselves.
Martin pointed out that the confirmed cases of avian influenza corresponded to home-produced chickens, which were to be consumed by their own breeders and were not to be distributed to any third parties. He also explained that the entry of avian influenza into the country was linked to migratory birds, mainly two species, which pass precisely through the areas where the first infections occurred. He added that birds moving through the region could also have been vectors of the disease. (Source: ABC)
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