Cattle ranchers in Paraná, in the south of Brazil, have been having serious problems for the last four months. In October there were reports of foot and mouth disease in the state and since then the local meatpacker association (Sindicato da Indústria de Carnes e Derivados do Paraná) (Sindicarne) says that they have been losing US$ 2.3 million per day.
Gustavo Fanaya, an economist at Sindicarne, says total losses are running at around US$ 140 million. That includes US$ 93 million in lost export revenue to the European Union and Russia, with the rest of the losses from domestic market sales.
Fanaya adds that new reports last week from the Ministry of Agriculture of six more foot and mouth disease focal infection areas just made a bad situation "the worse possible."
He explains that there have been no new infections, that the six supposedly new cases were just confirmations of the October outbreak cases.
"We had a problem four months ago. It is being taken care of [there were some 4,500 head of cattle in the focal infection areas; Sindicarne reports that 6,295 head of cattle have been confined there and will be sacrificed] The cattle now in the pasture is healthy. But serious damage has been done. People, importers and the international scientific community, have lost their confidence in Paraná cattle," says Fanaya.