Paraguay’s Livestock Service has confirmed that negligence in the handling of foot and mouth disease vaccines was the cause for the September FMD outbreak that forced the country to cease exports. The announcement discards doubts about the quality of the vaccines.
“In spite of all it is good news: our vaccines have again proven to be good and equally important there has been no mutation of the FMD virus”, said Daniel Rojas head of Paraguay’s Livestock Quality and Health Service, Senacsa.
He added that a second test this time from Panaftosa the regional office in Brazil that deals with livestock diseases coincides with a previous report from Argentina indicating that the outbreak a month and a half ago in a farm in San Pedro originated in a “human error”.
At some point in the vaccination chain “there was a negligence mistake and improving the monitoring system in the field, paddocks we can increase security”, added Rojas.
However he admitted that the exact step where the failure has yet to be identified “because we must sanction those responsible since the outbreak caused serious losses to Paraguay”.
“The error was in the private sector: we are going to reinforce our controls to make sure all farmers comply in time and form with the vaccination against FMD to avoid further problems and loss of prestige”.
At the time 820 head of cattle from the San Pedro farm were terminated and a sanitary ring imposed in the area.
Rojas said last September’s only outbreak was totally under control and “we are waiting for an auditing team from the Animal health organization (OIE) so that we can begin recovering out status of free of FMD with vaccine”.
The OIE team is expected to visit Paraguay on two occasions, February and September.
Meantime a group of Russian experts that inspected Paraguayan farms, cattle handling and the abattoirs to ensure good quality produce for Europe is expected to send their report in coming days.
“We’re only waiting for that report to resume exports to Russia”, said Rojas who added that a team from Brazil with the same purpose is expected this week.
Paraguayan authorities are hopeful that in six months the country will regain its pre-outbreak sanitary condition and resume exports to the most demanding markets.