The government of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has launched the second phase of this year’s National Hoof and Mouth Disease Vaccination and Erradication Campaign in that state.
Due to the mutual efforts of the federal and state governments, the battle against hoof and mouth disease has permitted the expansion of the state’s cattle herd. It is predicted that by the end of the year the herd will amount to 2.4 million head, compared with 1.8 million in 2001.
The Secretariat of Agriculture hopes at least to attain the vaccination index of the previous phase, in March, when 91.28% of the state’s cattle herd was vaccinated, and thus maintain Rio de Janeiro as a state free of the disease for the seventh consecutive year.
Data from the Superintendency of Sanitary Protection classify Rio de Janeiro as an “area free of hoof and mouth disease, with vaccination,” a status which has been conferred by the International Animal Health Organization (OIE) since 1997, the last year in which a case of the disease was reported in the state.
Late June, Brazilian vice-president, José Alencar, declared that the occurrence of hoof and mouth disease detected in three animals in the state of Pará was “an isolated instance” which was being taken seriously by the government and that there was no risk of contamination.”
Alencar was referring to Argentina’s embargo on meat imports from Brazil, as a result of the discovery of the three cases. He also observed that the meat that Brazil exports comes from other regions, which are already free of hoof and mouth disease.
“Agribusiness in Brazil is a sector that deserves the attention of all authorities, not only the federal government, but state and municipal governments as well.” he remarked.
The vice-president informed that the government is studying the creation of new credit lines to make Brazilian agriculture even more competitive. He also praised the work of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (Embrapa) in the search for ways to improve Brazil’s ability to compete.
“Embrapa is a company that needs to be strengthened more and more, because it plays a fundamental role in the development of agriculture and livestock raising,” he asserted.