Given a first positive result, the Brazilian health authorities await the second analysis, for confirmation, which will determine the steps to follow. Meanwhile, and by protocol, Brazil momentarily suspended its exports to China.
Could it be a risk for Uruguay?
In principle, the suspected BSE case occurred in a state that is quite north of the country and, therefore, far from Uruguay. In addition, the country has strict controls on livestock feeding —which earned it certification as a BSE-free country in 2006 by the World Organization of Epizootics (OIE)while the disease is caused by an infectious protein particle lacking nucleic acid—, as well as imported and slaughtered cattle, sheep and goats.
Both in 2019 and 2021, Brazil presented atypical cases of “mad cow” without this representing a risk for Uruguay, so, so far and with all the usual controls working in both countries, a different result is not expected. experienced on previous occasions.
The ghost of bird flu
However, there is greater concern regarding a possible bird flu outbreakboth in Uruguay and in the region —where most countries have already registered at least one case.
Although hardly one case has been reported in the country and the health emergency is already in force throughout the territory, the consequences of an outbreak of avian flu can also be serious at an economic and productive level, especially in exports from the poultry sector.
Faced with the possible impact of controlled slaughter in pens and farms, the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (MGAP) evaluates the possibility of assisting producers eventually affected through a compensation fund.
The effect on agriculture would also be reflected in final consumer prices, which are already registering increases due to the context of drought that the country is going through. Firstly in the eggs, just as it happened in the north and happens in Brazil; but also in other products of the poultry chain.
The region is at a seasonal peak and the risk of contagion of avian influenza will continue until May, due to the behavior of migratory birds.