The authorities of Peru and Ecuador announced three-month health emergencies due to bird flu outbreaks on Wednesday, after a surge of outbreaks that resulted in the k!lling of tens of millions of chickens in Europe and the United States.
Earlier in November, Peru reported its first major outbreak of the highly virulent type A H5 virus, just after Mexico announced that it will begin vaccination birds in high-risk areas.
Peru’s agricultural health department declared a statewide emergency and ordered that all birds in a suspected epidemic be slain and buried at least two meters underground.
Doris Rodriguez, a wildlife and forestry service officer in Peru, told radio station RPP that bird flu had killed 13,800 birds, including 10,000 pelicans, primarily in the country’s north and center.
The outbreak in Ecuador was discovered over the weekend at a chicken farm in the Andean region of Cotopaxi, prompting quarantine procedures throughout possibly contaminated areas.
According to Ecuador’s agricultural ministry, 180,000 birds in the vicinity will be exterminated to prevent the spread of the virus. The administration has assured the public that eating eggs and chicken meat is acceptable.
“During the next 90 days, it will not be possible to move birds, products, and by-products of avian origin, such as eggs, hens, and chickens, among others, from the farms affected by the outbreak,” the ministry stated.
According to local officials, the observed infection accounts for barely 0.15% of the country’s poultry population, which includes 263 million hens and 16 million laying birds. Ecuador’s poultry sector accounts for around 23% of agricultural GDP (GDP).
This year, bird flu k!lled a record 50.54 million birds in the United States, as the epidemic k!lled birds and farmers destroyed whole flocks to stem its spread. Prices for eggs and turkey meat have reached all-time highs as a result.