Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Economy, Environment, Health, People & Places » Meeting in Belmopan to Review Avian Influenza Emergency Preparedness Plan
Jun 7, 2023

Meeting in Belmopan to Review Avian Influenza Emergency Preparedness Plan

There are no confirmed cases of the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza in Belize. That piece of information comes as good news to the industry after various tests were conducted by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority.  But, industry stakeholders are not sitting by idly waiting for a confirmed case. Today, the Ministry of Agriculture hosted a meeting with the Belize Poultry Association’s Poultry Health Committee to review and update the country’s Avian Influenza Emergency Preparedness Plan. Past experiences have taught us that the spread of the virus can have damning effects on the poultry industry. We met up with a few of those industry stakeholders following their meeting in Belmopan.

Belarmino Esquivel,

Belarmino Esquivel, Principal Agriculture Officer, Ministry of Agriculture

“I think it’s a very, very critical, a very important meeting as it pertains to influenza. You know, that Avian Influenza is a zoonotic disease. It affects poultry. So basically what’s happening today, under the One Health approach we are meeting, it’s an inter-sectoral inter-ministerial meeting where we come together to communicate and coordinate primarily the emergency preparedness and response plan and response policy plan should we have an incursion of this disease of the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza. We are cognizant that the Avian Influenza has been reported in wild birds and in our neighboring countries, Costa Rica, Panama, Yucatan, Guatemala and Honduras. So hence the importance of us meeting together to devise a plan, uh, know exactly who will play, uh, what role should in case we have this, uh, disease coming into the Belize.”

Victor Gongora

Victor Gongora, Poultry Veterinarian, Belize Poultry Association

“We have been keeping a close watch on the spread of highly pathogenic, Avian Influenza through the Americas since it first entered the Americas in December, 2021. It was first detected in Canada. And then now it is in Brazil and it has been in South America, Central America since October to now. Because if the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza was to hit commercial poultry in Belize, or even if it enters to backyard poultry,  it could spread very quickly. And so we are very concerned as the industry, but right now the risk for us is more from wild birds. So, it has been reported in, well, birds in Honduras and Guatemala. So we have been looking at working with, with BAHA working with the Forest Department to ensure that if birds are sick, that samples are being taken and BAHA is testing those samples. So far BAHA has, that has worked. So far as a department BAHA and us have seen that the birds tested so far have all been negative, but we can’t not put down our guard.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed