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South American countries create task force to tackle bird flu threat

SAO PAULO, March 9 (Reuters) – South American health authorities have created a regional technical committee to deal with outbreaks of bird flu as the disease spreads and poses a threat to the poultry industry.

According to a statement from the Southern Cone’s Permanent Veterinary Committee (CVP) on Thursday, representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay took part creating the group, which is tasked with organizing a regional response to the global hazard.

“Avian influenza came to the region to stay, as is already the case in other regions of the world,” Rodolfo Acerbi, vice president at Bolivia’s health agency Senasa, was quoted as saying in the statement.

Some South American nations including Chile detected the disease late last year, and others reported cases this year, including Bolivia, Argentina and Uruguay, the statement said.

Last month, Argentina suspended avian product exports after finding a first case of bird flu in industrial poultry.

Brazil, the world’s biggest chicken exporter, remains free of contagion but has had to investigate several suspect cases over the past few weeks.

Andean countries such as Peru, Colombia and Ecuador also joined the meeting that created the task-force to organize the regional response, the statement added.

Source: nasdaq