GREELEY, Colo. – Mortality rates among the breeder flock are on the rise at a Pilgrim's Pride complex in Guanajuato, Mexico, the company reported. Management at the complex is cooperating with Mexican officials to perform blood tests to check for the H7N3 virus.

The company is taking preventative measures to protect the breeder supply. The complex, which is in central Mexico, has been isolated. The company also has received permission to vaccinate breeders and grandparent stock in unaffected areas.

“We recognize the importance of chicken as a protein source to our customers in Mexico,” said CEO Bill Lovette in a statement. “We've taken proactive measures leveraging our US production facilities to supply eggs and processed meat from our US operations, as well as alternative suppliers locally.

“We expect to be able to source an uninterrupted supply of both hatching eggs and chicken products, allowing us to continue to provide our customers and consumers with high quality products,” he added.
The Guanajuato complex provides a small amount of Pilgrim's hatching eggs in Mexico, according to the company. The majority of the company's hatching operations are located in other states throughout Mexico.

SENASICA, the Mexican Sanitary Authority, recently confirmed the presence of avian influenza H7N3 at some farms owned by Industrias Bachoco. All the affected farms are in the state of Guanajuato.