Brazil's minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply, Reinhold Stephanes, announced that the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) has freed ten Brazilian states and the Federal District, where Brazilian capital BrasÀlia is located, for foreign trade of beef.
With this decision, all the Brazilian states that produce beef, except for the midwestern state of Mato Grosso do Sul, are capacitated for foreign trade.
In 2005, the states lost their status of free of foot and mouth disease through vaccination due to outbreaks of the disease in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul and Paraná, in the South.
"With this decision by the OIE, the country has once again reached the status of free of foot and mouth disease, although Mato Grosso do Sul has not yet been freed due to lack of additional scientific evidence," stated Stephanes.
The minister talked to reporters during a press conference after participating in a debate-luncheon promoted by the Group of Business Leaders (LIDE), in São Paulo, in the Brazilian Southeast. According to Stephanes, the state of Mato Grosso do Sul should also be freed within the next 60 days.
Apart from the Federal District other states declared by the OIE free of foot and mouth disease through vaccination were Bahia and Sergipe (Northeast), Goiás and Mato Grosso (Midwest), Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo (all in the Southeast), Tocantins (North) and Paraná (South).
This information was provided to minister Stephanes by the Ministry delegation that was in French capital Paris participating in the international animal health control organization's 76th general plenary session.
Reinhold Stephanes said that liberation places the country in a very good position on the international market. "At the moment this liberation does not mean any financial gain, as the global demand is so heated that we will soon no longer have cattle for export," stated the minister. However, the liberation may provide middle- and long-term perspectives, as beef production is on the rise.
The minister of Agriculture said that Brazil is investing very much in the area of vegetable and animal sanitary defense, not just in the case of foot and mouth.
"This disease was the point that became emblematic, and that we faced. We have practically eliminated all cases and have adopted all measures that are recommended by the OIE. We have set up a structure so that, if cases of foot and mouth disease do come to occur, which is possible, we will show that we have a capacity to eliminate them quickly," stated the minister.