Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture began this week sacrificing livestock in the south of the country where the recurrence of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease was reported.
A total 377 cattle from two different farms in the state of Paraná are being terminated in this first stage, but "another 6.126 livestock from another five farms are to be eliminated in a date yet to be established", said Juliana Matoso, spokesperson for the federal authorities in Paraná, a state neighboring with Paraguay and Argentina.
In the State of Mato Grosso do Sul where the original FAM outbreak was first diagnosed last October, the sanitary rifle has been fired at least 30.000 times.
Agriculture ministry officials also announced that in five other states of the union, the anti FAM vaccination campaign began last week and should be over by the end of the month. The states are Rio do Janeiro, Ceará, Minas Gerais, Bahia and Espírito Santo totaling over 35 million head of cattle.
Although the first blood samples confirming the outbreak of FAM in Paraná were reported three months ago, the livestock sacrifice only began this month because Paraná state officials insisted the animals were healthy.
The controversy between local and federal agents was finally overcome when Paraná farmers insisted with the sanitary elimination of contaminated livestock "to minimize the exposure of the country’s beef industry already sanctioned with bans on Brazilian beef from over 50 countries", pointed out Matoso.
Paraná with 10.5 million cattle is Brazil’s eighth larger beef exporter. Paraná is next to Mato Grosso do Sul, which has a 25 million rodeo and contributes with half of Brazil’s meat overseas sales. Actually it was in Mato Grosso do Sul, next to the Paraguayan border that the original FAM outbreak was reported last year.
Brazil which is the world’s main beef exporter has a total rodeo of 205 million cattle. Beef exports in 2004 totaled US$ 2.4 billion and US$ 3 billion last year
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