The Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries, fernando mattoswarned last Wednesday that Uruguay “He’s on his way” to bird flu vaccination, the virus that has governed the health emergency in the country since mid-February. Although he was sure of the idea, he acknowledged that it could cause complications in the exports.
“There are many exporting countries that refuse to vaccinate, because the concept that whoever vaccinates is prohibited or has greater export restrictions still persists in the world. There are markets that are closed to those countries that vaccinate”, explained the minister.
The discussion also takes place in the midst of the negotiations led by Mattos with China to export poultry meat to that Asian country. The government seeks to open new markets precisely because of the delicate situation of the sector in Uruguay.
The paradox of markets closing for countries that vaccinate
Internationally, the standardized requirement in most of the countries that import poultry meat is that the birds that enter are antibody free against influenza.
To do this, if a country wants to prove that its animals do not have the disease, it must carry out a laboratory test and that their birds do not have these defenses. Under this way of looking at it, if the animal has this type of antibody, that indicates that it carried the virus.
The paradox is that to stop the spread of the virus, the vaccine produces precisely these antibodies in animals, but to protect them. Meanwhile, the antibodies of the vaccinated birds cannot be differentiated of them generates the same disease.
That is why the implementation of the avian flu vaccine generates reluctance in the agro-export sectorwhere the fear of losing markets abroad reigns.
If avian flu reaches the pens, Uruguay would lose its health status
The dilemma is that the option of not vaccinating is not very promising in that sense either. In it Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (MGAP) warned earlier this month that if influenza enters the poultryUruguay will lose its health status.
The general director of Livestock Services of the agricultural portfolio, Diego Freitas He affirmed that although no case was found in the corral, “it worries and occupies” any of the foci. “It is essential to avoid contagion in poultry,” he stated in conversation with the weekly Chronicles.
In this sense, the official said that since the virus did not get there “it does not affect us” in terms of exports, since all the cases were in backyard birds. “That is why we do not lose the sanitary status,” she clarified.
In the case of Argentina, the first contagion in poultry at the end of February and so far there have been at least four outbreaks of this type. For this reason, from the MGAP they clarify that if Uruguay reached that point “status would be lost.”