Chile has further increased its protection against avian influenza (AI) following the detection of the H5N1 virus strain in the Valparaíso region, home to important poultry production.

As in several Latin American countries, Chile experienced a resurgence of the disease in seabirds late last year. However, prior to this recent discovery, all outbreaks occurred in areas with low poultry production.

Chile has been declared AI free in early 2020. There have been no reports of the virus invading backyards or commercial flocks yet, but the country’s Agriculture and Livestock Authority (SAG) has reported increasing reports of sick and dead seabirds.

Chile produced 675,162 metric tons (MT) of chicken meat and 71,614 MT of turkey in 2021. The country’s chicken meat exports are thought to have risen by 11% in 2022 to stand at 214,000 metric ton, and to have increased in value by 28%. Turkey meat exports are thought to have risen by 25% to stand at 30,000 MT.

Read: What’s in store for the food industry this year?

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