Argentina tightens health protocols to control bird flu

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BUENOS AIRES, (Reuters) – Argentina’s government adopted new measures to prevent spread of bird flu and limit potential damage to exports as cases rise in the region.

Authorities decided to tighten sanitary controls on imports of poultry products to avoid the virus spreading, officials told reporters.

Economy Minister Sergio Massa said authorities were on high alert but there was no risk for the population or exports at the moment.

Argentina last week confirmed its first cases of avian influenza in wild birds, prompting the government to declare a health emergency.

Uruguay, another important international agricultural producer, also declared a health emergency last week.

The Argentine government has committed more than 1 billion pesos ($5.2 million) to compensate affected producers.

The virus has prompted import bans in some countries and pushed egg prices to record highs in some parts of the world.

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