Thirty two countries have already banned beef from Brazil since it was disclosed that an outbreak of foot and mouth disease had been found in the Eldorado region, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, in the Brazilian northwest.
Besides the 25 nations from the European Union, Russia, South Africa, Israel, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile, have decided to stop buying beef from Brazil.
Most of them, at least for now, have limited their embargo to beef coming from the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, but Chile, Israel and South Africa will not be purchasing beef from any of Brazil’s 26 states.
A Brazilian mission from the Agriculture Department is already in Brussels where they intend to meet European authorities in charge of veterinary control.
The Brazilian technicians are expected to present the EU representatives the measures that are being adopted in Brazil to fix the problem.
The European Union has already let it be known that the embargo will not be lifted until Brazil is able to prove that the measures being adopted are good enough to control de disease.
Brazil’s Agriculture Minister, Roberto Rodrigues, said today, in the capital Brasília, before leaving to Eldorado, that the government will be making available US$ 1.6 million (3.5 million reais) within days and additional resources will be added as needed to fight the disease.
The Minister blamed the government for not having made available more resources to deal with the problem in several regions of the country. He also said that from now on, all the states should act in a coordinated way in concert with the federal government.
For him the presence of the foot and mouth outbreak is a misfortune. He noted that focuses of the disease can appear in any place: "We have the example of England, which also had foot and mouth disease and the United States, where there was a case of mad cow."
"There will be a sharp reduction in the beef exports from Brazil in a short period of time, as we can already notice by the barriers being imposed by the countries that buy our products," said Rodrigues.
Altino Rodrigues Neto, the president of Fonesa, a national forum of cattle safety, informed that the government believes that the sanitary measures adopted up to now are enough to avoid the spread of the disease.
Close to 600 animals were killed in the farm where the disease was found and the traffic of cattle from Eldorado and four other neighboring municipalities has been interrupted.
Rodrigues Neto says that Brazil communicated the focus existence in an expeditiously manner and now wants to show that the country is able to control the problem.
"It is very important to acknowledge that in a country free of foot and mouth disease one is not forbidden to get the disease, but to be neglectful in taking adequate measures. We are dealing with total transparency in everything we do," he added.