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Mexico restricts U.S. poultry imports due to avian flu outbreak

Mexico City, Mexico — Mexico’s Ministry of Agriculture announced Thursday that it will ban the entry of poultry products originating in or coming from the US state of Indiana following an outbreak of avian flu.

The H5N1 virus, known as bird flu, has been circulating in wild birds along the US East Coast this year. An outbreak in an Indiana turkey flock was reported Wednesday, the nation’s first case in a commercial poultry operation since 2020.

As a precautionary measure, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development informed its Agricultural Health Inspection Offices, located at all points of entry into the country, that the importation of any type of poultry or poultry product that originates from, or transits through the state of Indiana, is prohibited.

The National Service for Agrifood Health, Safety and Quality reported that the restriction includes products such as live poultry, meat, poultry offal or viscera and eggs.

They added that the animal health restrictions determined by the Mexican government may be adjusted as the epidemiological investigation progresses and the measures implemented to control the outbreak by US authorities.

The H5N1 strain has also been found in wild birds along the US East Coast and has caused a wave of poultry outbreaks in Europe and Asia.

Canada also confirmed the spread of avian flu in a commercial poultry flock in the state of Nova Scotia, prompting various trade restrictions by importers, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said.

The president of the US Poultry and Egg Export Council, Jim Sumner, reported that H5N1 “has been wreaking havoc in Asia and Europe.”

Some 29,000 turkeys on the farm in Dubois County, Indiana, in the southern part of the state, are being culled to contain the outbreak, state officials said.

The Indiana outbreak is significant because it indicates the strain has entered a bird flyway that includes major US poultry-producing states, Sumner said.