Uruguay and Chile banned the import of beef and pork from Brazil following the confirmation of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the southwestern state of Mato Grosso do Sul in the common border with Paraguay.
The outbreak is geographically 1.400 kilometers from the Uruguayan border, but sanitary controls have been imposed in all frontier crossings including fumigation of vehicles and embedded mats for travellers entering the country.
In Chile strict similar measures were imposed for vehicles entering the country.
Uruguayan authorities are considering sending experts to assess the extent of the outbreak 25 kilometers from the Paraguayan border.
Chilean Director of Agriculture and Livestock services Francisco Bahamonde said measures will continue until the Brazilian Veterinary Service can prove that for at least six months no new outbreaks have been reported.
Following this Chile will make its own risk analysis following the OIE (International Organization of Epidemics) recommendations before lifting the ban.
Uruguay’s head of Livestock Sanitary Services Hipolito Tapie denied the Brazilian outbreak could have an impact in Mercosur beef sales because, "in the case of Uruguay, our clients know very well we are serious and have taken all necessary measures". Besides, he added, "Uruguay and Brazil have different markets".
According to Brazilian authorities the outbreak so far has been limited to 590 animals, 582 cattle and 8 hogs, all of which have been sacrificed.
This article appeared originally in Mercopress – www.mercopress.com.