The northern Brazilian state of Acre was recognized by the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) as a zone free of foot and mouth disease through vaccination.
This is the 16th unit of the Brazilian federation to obtain this status. Acre was already considered a foot and mouth free zone through vaccination by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply.
The OIE reached this decision during its annual session, which ended at the end of last week, in Paris.
With this, the state of Acre can now sell any kind of beef and live animals on the foreign market. Before recognition, the state could only sell canned, boneless and matured beef outside the country.
With a cattle heard of 1.9 million heads of cattle and slaugter of around 300,000 animals a year, the state has revenues of around US$ 125 million with the sale of live animals to slaughterhouses.
Acre is the second state in the northern region of Brazil to obtain recognition as a foot and mouth free zone through vaccination. The first was Rondônia, in 2003.
Apart from opening a gateway to the foreign market for beef produced in the state, the new status should also bring investment to livestock farming in the state.
The state’s herd is the so-called “green cattle”, which feeds on pastures and is bred free, unconfined.
During the OIE session, which brought together representatives from 160 countries last week, the cities of Guajará and Boca do Acre, in the state of Amazonas, also in the north of the country, were recognized as foot and mouth free zones through vaccination.
The Brazilian target is to have the entire territory recognized as a foot and mouth free zone through vaccination by the end of 2006.
The number of vaccines applied against the disease should reach 370 million this year. Brazil currently has annual revenues of US$ 2.5 billion with the export of cattle beef.
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