The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) declared Brazil free of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) with vaccination on Thursday, opening new export prospects for the world’s largest beef exporter. The OIE already considered most of Brazil to be free of foot-and-mouth with vaccination. The declaration, which the government had been expecting since the start of the year, extends certification to the whole country.
A vaccine to protect sheep and cattle from a virus spread by midges has been approved by UK government vets. The virus, which emerged in the Netherlands and Germany in 2011, can lead to sheep and cattle having stillborn or deformed offspring.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) are joining forces to combat foot-and-mouth disease on a global scale, laying out a detailed strategy to bring the devastating livestock disease under control.
An animal welfare disaster resulting in the death of more than half the 5.000 cattle on board a Brazilian-owned live export ship bound for Egypt over the past fortnight has prompted renewed calls to ban the industry.
Uruguay beef exports last year dropped 8% in volume but soared 18% in value because of higher international prices and fewer cattle. However the volume was the lowest since 2004 and confirms a decreasing tendency since 2006, according to the latest figures released by the government.
A slump the Brazilian currency Real landed Marfrig deeper in the red despite an improved operating result, lifted by takeovers and better tailoring its beef operations to a shortage of cattle.
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.
The latest update of Uruguay’s livestock census for the year ending last June 30 shows the number of cattle is below eleven million and the flock at its lowest since colonial times with 7.3 million head.
Beef consumption in Argentina registered in 2011 its lowest per capita in 53 years, having dropped approximately 50% from 98.4 kilos in 1958 to 53.4 kilos last June according to the Institute for the Promotion of Beef.
Uruguay’s beef industry is short of cattle and the annual slaughter for 2011 is expected to be the lowest in a decade, similar to ten years ago when the foot and mouth disease crisis that isolated the country from world markets.