Paraguay sanitary authorities confirmed an outbreak of foot and mouth disease which means the immediate suspension of all beef exports for at least two months and the sanitary rifle for 800 head of cattle.
“In effect Paraguay has stopped all meat exports and we have sent a contingent of vets and experts to the San Pedro region where the outbreak has been reported and confirmed”, announced Carlos Simón Van Humbeck, interim president of Paraguay’s National Animal Quality and Health Services, Senacsa.
“We are only waiting for President Lugo to sign the sanitary emergency decree at district level so we can implement all the necessary contention measures”, said the Paraguayan official.
Simon Van Humbeck admitted that with the reported case of 13 head of cattle with FMD, Paraguay automatically looses its international sanitary status and could lose important overseas markets.
He added that in spite of the huge losses that reporting the case to the Paris based International Animal health organization, OIE, the decision was agreed with the cattle breeders’ organizations.
Simon Van Humbeckindicated that one of the first immediate measures is the sacrifice of 819 head of cattle from the Santa Helena farm managed by Silfrido Baumgarten, who happens to be the president of the Paraguayan Rural Association, chapter San Pedro.
“Our leading team was at the farm over the weekend and confirmed the FMD cases, and now we must implement the necessary measures so that we can quickly recover our international status”, said Van Humbeck.
The head of sanitary services said that a direct consequence of the closure of exports would be a drop of meat prices in the Paraguayan domestic market.
Soybean and beef are Paraguay’s two main exports and this year the meat industry was expecting to beat the export record of the two previous years.
“That is over, with the San Pedro FMD outbreak”, sentenced Van Humbeck.
He revealed that eight sanitary outposts have been established surrounding the reported area and all transport of animals with hooves has been banned