(Photo : Reuters)
A strain of the avian flu virus broke out in Mexico in June, which has since led to a massive slaughter of infected birds, hundreds of millions of vaccinations rolling out to protect the healthy ones, alleged price gouging over the cost of eggs as well as dropping tariffs on egg imports.
The AH7N3 virus, which first erupted in the western state of Jalisco in Mexico is causing chaos and turmoil for citizens and government alike.
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The Mexican President Felipe Calderon has announced the availability of approximately $200 million in emergency funding and other measures to alleviate production woes. The money also went toward replacing the 11 million chickens that had to be slaughtered in order to prevent the avian flu from spreading.
Preventative measures are being taken to ensure that the situation doesn't grow to an all-out epidemic. 88 million birds have already been vaccinated against the virus as part one of a two phase plan put in place by the government. Additional vaccinations are being prepared for phase two, which will administer vaccinations to 90 million birds, officials say.
Calderon has announced that he will be sending inspectors to monitor and investigate the recent increase in the cost of birds and eggs, which are said to have doubled from the peso equivalent of $1 to $2. Fox News reports that there are already 1,299 retailers allegedly accused of price gouging and that offending retailers could face potential jail time.
To meet current demands, Mexico was forced to import 400 tons of eggs from the United States this week and as a result, government officials decided to temporarily suspend import tariffs on eggs.
"This measure has the aim of stabilizing the market, complementing current supply, reducing the price and guaranteeing the supply of this product," Economy Secretary Bruno Ferrari said during a press conference on Thursday.