Brazil Finds Focus of Foot and Mouth Disease and Sacrifices 582 Cattle

Brazilian authorities confirmed Monday an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the southwestern state of Mato Grosso do Sul bordering with Paraguay and Bolivia and reported that 582 cattle have been sacrificed.

"The National Agricultural and Livestock Laboratory confirmed a foot and mouth diagnosis in blood samples taken from cattle belonging to the Vezozzo ranch in Mato Grosso do Sul," reported the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture in a release.

The ranch has been quarantined and experts from the Livestock Laboratory are inspecting all other ranches within a radius of 25 kilometers, added the report. Additionally tests are being conducted to identify the origin of the disease and inspection stations have been set up throughout the region to ensure no in or out movements.

Brasí­lia already reported the foot and mouth outbreak to the relevant regional and international bodies, as well as to neighboring countries and the nations with which Brazil trades, pointed out sanitary authorities.

"After the confirmation of the disease in 140 animals, all the recommended emergency procedures have been implemented, including the seizure of the property. All sanitary measures are being carried out, including the sacrifice of 582 cattle of the ranch," said the Agriculture Ministry.

This is the first foot and mouth outbreak registered in Mato Grosso do Sul since 1999. The state is one of Brazil’s largest cattle-raising areas and was declared free of the disease in 2001 after an extensive livestock vaccination program.

However the state neighbors with the Beni region in Bolivia where FAM is endemic and Paraguay which has a record of poor sanitary implementation programs.

Brazil is the world’s main exporter of beef. During the first half of 2005, shipments totaled 1.14 million tons of beef valued at 1.46 billion US dollars.

This article was published originally in Mercopress – www.mercopress.com.

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