CHILE CONFIRMS FIRST BIRD FLU OUTBREAK IN POULTRY, HALTS CHICKEN EXPORTS
SANTIAGO, March 13 (Reuters) - Chilean authorities on Monday confirmed the South American country's first outbreak of avian flu in poultry, prompting it to suspend chicken exports from the country.
Agriculture Minister Esteban Valenzuela told a news conference a case had been confirmed in a campus belonging to meat producer Agrosuper, in a western part of central Chile's Rancagua commune.
"The laboratory reported positive results and proceeded to control the area," he said.
Valenzuela said he hopes exports can resume by the end of the 28-day period ban established by international protocols.
Chile had up till then only detected the disease in wild animals. In
, health authorities detected the first case in a marine mammal, in a sea lion in northern Chile.