Brazilian beef exports should end the year with sales totaling US$ 2.770 billion, the executive director of the Brazilian Association of Meat Exporters, Antonio Camardelli, estimates. Sales forfeited in October amounted to US$ 68 million. The sector expects to lose another US$ 100 million in sales in November.
Therefore, there will be a US$ 230 million reduction in relation to the earlier forecast, in consequence of the outbreak of hoof and mouth disease detected in herds in Mato Grosso do Sul at the beginning of October.
The announcement of the outbreak has already led 49 countries to suspend imports of Brazilian meat. There is also the possibility that the disease has infected cattle in Paraná, although preliminary results have ruled out this diagnosis. Nevertheless, the definitive test results are still pending.
Following a meeting that lasted nearly two hours in the office of the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply, Roberto Rodrigues, with the participation of other representatives of the meat supply chain and government health officials, Camardelli said that it is necessary to expedite even more the measures adopted to combat the hoof and mouth disease focuses, which number 21 to date.
"That is the only way we can give greater external visibility to the seriousness of the sanitary control policy, in order for the country to begin to reverse what he called the ‘domino effect,’" Camardelli affirmed.
He suggested that health officials from other countries come to observe "firsthand the technical measures adequate to the situation" that Brazil has adopted, to demonstrate that "hoof and mouth disease is confined to a small part of a country of continental dimensions."
He believes that some countries are "more bloodthirsty and drastic" about health barriers and even resort to them as trade ploys. To exemplify, he named Chile, which imposed a total ban on all kinds of Brazilian meat, despite the lack of technical backing from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Organization for Animal Health (OIE).