The United States is working to persuade Mexico relax restrictions on U.S. poultry imports that have been placed over concerns about avian influenza. In talks between the two countries, the U.S. has pushed to have Mexico only restrict poultry imports from U.S. counties that have been impacted by the virus.
Mexico presently has trade restrictions on entire states that have been infected with H5N2 avian influenza. Since Mexico is the top importer of U.S. poultry, easing the trade restrictions would cause less financial hardship on the U.S. poultry industry.
So far in 2015, avian influenza has been confirmed in 17 states. Of those states, 12 of them have had outbreaks of H5N2 avian influenza, however, not all of those have been in commercial flocks. According to WATTAgNet’s avian influenza map, commercial flocks in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas have had confirmed H5N2 cases.
Minnesota has been the hardest hit by the virus, with more than 20 confirmed cases.
In 2015, USDA has already spent an estimated $45 million while responding to the avian influenza situations. Those costs include testing facilities for the virus and the establishment of quarantines around infected facilities.
Several countries, including China and South Korea, have already banned all imports of poultry and poultry products from the United States.