Paraguay confirms second FMD outbreak

Beef Central, 04/01/2012

South American beef exporter Paraguay has confirmed its second outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in four months.

The country’s animal health service confirmed overnight that a positive test result had been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

The new outbreak has occurred in San Pedro, 35km from the site of an outbreak reported in September.

Authorities have reportedly ordered the slaughter of 150 cattle as a result of the new outbreak.

The news comes just two weeks after the Paraguayan Government lifted a state of emergency imposed over the region in response to last year’s event.

Paraguay was preparing to resume exports to Russia, Brazil and Venezuela, however the new outbreak is expected to force the renewal of the export suspensions.

Brazil’s minister for agriculture Mendes Ribeiro Filhotold South American media the country will take all measures to prevent entry of FMD from Paraguay.

“We will act in the same way we did three months ago,” he said, according to Prensa Latina.

In November media reports said the September outbreak was caused by a botched vaccine.

“After the most recent laboratory analysis, we have confirmed that the outbreak of foot and mouth disease came about as a result of problems with the vaccination of animals,” Daniel Rojas, head of Paraguay’s National Service for Animal Health and Quality, said at the time.

“There is now no doubt that it was human error that led to the outbreak of foot and mouth.”

The September event resulted in the destruction of more than 1000 cattle at the Santa Helena ranch in the province of San Pedro.

Government officials said the export ban had cost the Paraguayan economy about $70 million per month.


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