March 23, 2006

Mexico ministry denies bird flu found at US border

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's agriculture ministry
denied rumors in U.S. commodities markets on Thursday that a
case of H5N1 bird flu had been found near the U.S. border.

"We are free of highly-pathogenic bird flu," Jose Angel del
Valle, the ministry's animal health director, told Reuters.

U.S. grain prices were lower early on Thursday amid talk of
the deadly bird flu in neighboring Mexico, but livestock
markets -- which stand to benefit -- were treating it as a
hoax, traders said.

The rumors apparently began on a Brazilian web site which
reported that a duck found dead in the town of Nogales, near
Arizona, had died of bird flu.