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Pork Sales Slump in Mexico

by 5m Editor
18 May 2009, at 9:09am

MEXICO - A pig producer reports that pork sales have fallen to zero as the result of H1N1 flu fears.

Not one single pig has been sold in Mexico's southeastern state of Guerrero for the last three weeks because of the A/H1N1 flu, the industry association in the state told Chinese sources on 17 May.

Before the Mexican government declared a flu emergency on 23 April, the state's farmers on average sold 1,120 pigs a day, Armando Cabrera Villela, president of the Guerrero Pig Producers' Council, was quoted as saying.

Now the sales were zero, he said.

Mr Villela said the state risked losing 600 jobs on 105 farms. He called on the government to support farmers financially because the crisis of confidence in pork would only be overcome gradually.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says there is no risk of contracting influenza A/H1N1 by eating pork and that the new strain of the virus contains elements of bird, human and pig viruses. The flu virus has killed 68 people in Mexico

The WHO said that there are now 8,451 cases of the H1N1 flu worldwide: only six deaths have occurred outside of Mexico (four in the United States and one each in Canada and Costa Rica). The United States now has 4,714 cases of the flu, the largest number across the globe.