CELAYA, Mexico: Mexico will slaughter 486,000 chickens after an outbreak of bird flu was detected in the central state of Guanajuato, officials said Friday.
Poultry producer Bachoco reported a possible case of H7N3 influenza in five breeder farms late Wednesday, which agriculture ministry officials confirmed on Friday.
Authorities launched preventive measures, testing nearby farms to check if the outbreak had spread elsewhere.
Last year, a bird flu outbreak in the western state of Jalisco forced farmers to slaughter 22 million hens, sparking an egg crisis in Mexico, the world's top consumer of eggs per capita.
Mexican Chicken Producer Bachoco Tumbles on Bird Flu
Obtaining EggsA bird flu outbreak last summer caused egg and poultry prices to surge, driving up inflation in Mexico.
Bachoco should be able to offset any losses if the virus is confirmed by obtaining hatching eggs from third parties, according to Miguel Mayorga, an analyst with brokerage firm Grupo Bursatil Mexicano who rates the stock the equivalent of buy.
“Currently it’s a non-issue,” Mayorga said in a telephone interview. “If the disease spreads it could be a harder impact.”