Skip to main content

Mexico slaughters 1.2 million chickens infected with bird flu

By Rafael Romo and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
updated 11:55 AM EST, Thu February 28, 2013
Bird flu has been discovered in 18 farms in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, Mexico's Agriculture Ministry said.
Bird flu has been discovered in 18 farms in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, Mexico's Agriculture Ministry said.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Investigators have found chickens infected with H7N3 on 18 farms in central Mexico
  • Authorities say the outbreak has been controlled and does not pose a threat to humans
  • More than 1.2 million infected chickens were slaughtered, a state agriculture official says
  • Nearly 2 million chickens have been vaccinated against the virus since the outbreak began

(CNN) -- Mexican authorities say they've slaughtered more than a million chickens infected with bird flu.

Investigators detected the virus in 18 farms in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, Mexico's Agriculture Ministry said this week.

Chickens there were infected with the H7N3 virus, which Mexican authorities said does not pose a threat to humans.

"This virus is exclusive to birds, so there is no risk for public safety," the Agriculture Ministry said earlier this month.

Authorities offered different tallies of how many infected birds had been slaughtered.

Agriculture Minister Enrique Martinez said Monday that more than 2.1 million chickens had been killed -- including 519,000 egg-producing chickens, 722,265 breeding chickens and 900,000 chickens raised for meat.

On Tuesday, Javier Usabiaga Arroyo, a state agriculture official, said the total number of infected chickens killed was about 1.2 million, Mexico's state-run Notimex news agency reported.

Officials have vaccinated 1.9 million birds since the outbreak began earlier this month, and they plan to vaccinate millions more, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement this week.

The outbreak has sparked concern about a possible spike in food prices, but authorities said Monday that the number of slaughtered chickens is a small fraction of the country's overall population and there is no reason for egg or chicken prices to increase.

"The outbreak of avian influenza is controlled," Mexico's food safety agency said in a statement.

Other strains of bird flu have spread to humans and prompted authorities to slaughter animals.

In 1997, authorities in Hong Kong killed about 1.5 million chickens after H5N1 avian influenza passed from birds to humans there.

Last year a new strain of H3N8 flu jumped from birds to mammals and was responsible for the death of more than 160 seals off the New England coast.

Cambodia sees spike in bird flu deaths

January: Bird flu research resumes -- but not in U.S.

France: Tainted horse meat likely eaten

CNNMexico.com contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:02 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
updated 12:07 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
updated 9:19 AM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
With so many new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
updated 12:29 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
updated 5:45 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
The lives of everyone close to Oscar Pistorius and the girl he killed are changed forever, his siblings say.
updated 6:33 AM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
updated 9:31 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Wed October 15, 2014
Serbia and Albania try to play but the major game is called off after a drone flying a political flag enters the stadium.
updated 7:36 AM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
George Clooney's new wife, is now Amal Clooney, raising the issue of married names.
updated 1:57 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
The mysterious unmanned X-37B space plane returns to Earth after more than two years in space. But the U.S. Air force isn't saying much.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT