Companies that produce and export poultry meat and eggs are banning all visits from all customers and suppliers – including Brazilians – to facilities and areas with live birds, the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA) announced.

The move comes after avian flu outbreaks were reported in 33 countries over the last three months – including Chile – which reported the onset of the disease last week.

The ban was made effective January 10 and will be in effect for 30 days. The ban will also be extended to all stages of production.

According to the CEO of ABPA, Francisco Turra, the decision is complementary to the series of biosecurity measures established by the Strategic Group for the Prevention of Avian Influenza (GEPIA), in association with ABPA’s board.

“Companies and government agencies are committed to this measure. We are strengthening our biosecurity protocol, making it more restrictive on the movement of people and products in the production process, with total control even of company staff. We are the only major producer and exporter in the world that has never seen an outbreak of the disease, and this is what we seek to retain with this measure,” Turra said.

The ban on visits already applied to foreigners from countries with active outbreaks of avian flu. For countries with no outbreaks of the disease, the visit was permitted only after a quarantine of 72 hours within Brazil.

Other measures are being articulated with the Ministry of Agriculture and the defense agencies of the state agriculture departments.