Paraguay has suspended its beef exports following confirmation of a foot and mouth disease outbreak in the country on Monday.
The Paraguayan National Cattle Health Service (SENACSA) notified the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) of an FMD outbreak after three cows in a herd of 819 cattle in central Paraguay tested positive to the disease last Saturday.
Authorities have quarantined the area and restricted cattle movements as they attempt to contain the outbreak. The manager of the ranch told local media in Paraguay that all 819 cattle would be slaughtered. "We want to do things well," he said.
Paraguay was ranked as the word's eight largest beef exporter last year, exporting 310,000 tonnes in 2010 according to Analysing Agriculture data. Most of its exports went to Russia and Chile.
Beef is Paraguay’s second most significant export industry after soy and is provides a major source of employment in the country.
A Meat and Livestock Australia report said Paraguay was recently granted countrywide FMD-free with vaccination status.
“In previous years the country had been allocated a control buffer zone throughout its border with Argentina, but this restriction area was recently lifted.
“However, Paraguay will most likely lose its FMD free status as a result of the outbreak (Infocampo).”