Brazil’s national vaccination campaign against hoof and mouth disease got underway yesterday, September 1st, with the goal of immunizing around 20 million head of cattle in five Brazilian states.
This is the second phase of the annual vaccination campaign that seeks to rid the country of the disease in the next two or three years, affirms the secretary of Agricultural Protection of Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply, Gabriel Alves Maciel.
He informs that the states of Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, and Ceará are expected to vaccinate their entire cattle and buffalo herds, while the governments of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo formulated a different strategy and plan to immunize all bovines up to the age of 24 months.
These two states managed to vaccinate 96% of their herds during the first phase of the campaign, which occurred in March. For their part, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, and Ceará vaccinated 94%, 89%, and 85% of their herds, respectively.
According to Alves, 16 states in the Center-South and Southeast regions, which are responsible for 78% of the national herd, are free of hoof and mouth disease. Nevertheless, Santa Catarina is the only state in which vaccination is no longer required.
The other states are considered free of the disease, but they are expected to participate in the campaign. According to Alves, vaccination should be intensified in the North and Northeast regions.
Alves also said that there are expectations to include the south of Pará in the zone considered free of hoof and mouth disease by the end of the year.
“We are endeavoring to enter 2006 without any center of hoof and mouth outbreaks in the country, and we want to see Brazil free of the disease as soon as possible.”
He affirms, as well, that there will be no shortage of funds for the vaccination campaigns. This year’s budget ensured US$ 23.708 million (56 million reais) for the purchase of vaccines and the fieldwork.
The bill for next year’s budget requests US$ 55.038 million (130 million reais) for plant and animal sanitation in 2006, around 60% of which will be used to combat hoof and mouth disease.