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Industry Leader Says Brazil’s Beef Business Is Going in Reverse

Hoof and mouth disease has put Brazil in a situation of "heading backwards," according to the president of the National Beef Cattle Council, Sebastião Guedes.

Guedes notes that Brazil remains the world’s largest beef exporter. He met Thursday, November 3, with the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply, Roberto Rodrigues, to discuss steps related to controlling hoof and mouth disease in the country.

"I perceive damage to Brazil’s export policy. This problem brought us reverses and will delay our entry into high-price markets, where the country had been making progress preparing for the introduction of Brazilian meat, such as in Japan and the United States, as well as in Southeast Asian countries. This fact obviously causes us a delay in this program," he affirmed.

Guedes emphasized that Brazil is facing difficulties in its meat export policy. "How big the loss will be, only the future will tell. We may suffer lost exports on the order of up to US$ 800 million during the course of a year," he observed.

He indicated that one of the steps he discussed with minister Rodrigues for the control of hoof and mouth disease is the need to have neighboring countries participate in the effort, especially the countries that "have manifested a more intense incidence of hoof and mouth disease in recent times."

Furthermore, "the measures should receive clear-cut public and private sector collaboration from countries such as Paraguay and Bolivia, without omitting Ecuador, even though that country does not have a common border with us."

Another point they discussed was the need to encourage Venezuela to take care of the eradication of hoof and mouth disease in its territory.

Agência Brasil

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