Brazil has declared a 180-day animal health emergency following the discovery of avian flu among wild birds.
Agriculture and Livestock Minister Carlos Favaro signed a decree late Monday declaring the health emergency throughout the country.
The measure is intended to prevent the spread of the disease to commercial and subsistence poultry farms and preserve wildlife and human health.
"The declaration of a state of animal health emergency makes it possible to mobilize funds from the government and to coordinate with other ministries and government agencies at the three levels -- federal, state and municipal -- and with non-governmental organizations. This whole process is to ensure the workforce, logistics, financial resources and technological materials needed to carry out emergency actions to prevent the spread of the disease," said Favaro.
The decree also enforces the suspension of exhibitions, tournaments, fairs and other events with an agglomeration of birds and the breeding of birds outdoors.
The measure applies to all species of production, ornamental, passerine, wild or exotic birds in captivity and other birds bred for other purposes.
The decree was issued after authorities in Brazil detected three additional cases in Espirito Santo and Rio de Janeiro states in the southeastern part of the country, amounting to eight reported infections of wild birds.
Since the virus is not present in commercial production, the World Organization for Animal Health has not revoked Brazil's influenza-free status. However, people have been instructed not to touch or pick up dead or sick birds to curb the potential spread of the disease.
Following the national emergency, the Secretariat for Agricultural Defense at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply has established an emergency operations center to coordinate, plan and evaluate "national actions related to avian influenza.”
"The group will be responsible for coordinating prevention, surveillance and public healthcare actions as well as linking information between other ministries, agencies, state agencies and the private sector," said a press statement.