Mexico boosts surveillance after US dairy cattle test positive for bird flu

Mexico is a major market for US beef and dairy products

Mexico’s agriculture ministry on Tuesday said it is taking preventative measures to increase surveillance and reinforce inspections of US livestock imports after avian influenza was found in dairy cattle there, reported Reuters

Avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, has so far been detected in dairy herds in five US states, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

The Mexico-United States Commission for Prevention of Foot-and-Mouth Disease and other Animal Exotic Diseases (CPA) will visit livestock stables to take samples for lab analysis, a statement by Mexico’s agriculture ministry said. 

Officials from Mexico’s agriculture sanitation authority Senasica will also increase surveillance of cattle entering the country for any sign of respiratory distress, the agriculture ministry said.

Mexico is a major market for US beef and dairy products. 

Texas and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday reported the second case of avian influenza in a person who had contact with dairy cows presumed to be infected with the virus, following a 2022 case in Colorado. 

Avian flu has reached new corners of the globe in recent years, spread by wild birds. Since 2022, 82 million US chickens, turkeys and other birds have been culled. The virus is fatal to poultry but has been less severe in mammals.