May 30, 2008
May 30, 2008 - The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has declared 11 Brazilian regions as free of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) with vaccination, ostensibly allowing for the resumption of meat exports from those regions.
The decision comes nearly three years after an outbreak of FMD in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul (Sept. 30, 2005) and an outbreak of FMD in the state of Parana (Oct. 21, 2005) prompted OIE to suspend the Distrito Federal and the states of Bahia, Espirito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Sergipe, Tocantins, Goias, Mato Grosso, Parana and Sao Paulo. These 11 regions have now regained the status of FMD-free with vaccination.
Inacio Kroetz, the Brazilian Agriculture Ministry's secretary of livestock defense, said in a statement that Mato Grosso do Sul also is clear of FMD, but OIE has requested additional information about that state.
The main benefit of the OIE's decision, said Brazilian Agriculture Secretary Renhold Stephanes, will be the reopening of new export markets for Brazilian meat.
In a related story, Meatingplace.com reported that Keith Williams, U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) press secretary, confirmed that USDA offices have scheduled a technical mission to Santa Catarina on June 9-13 to assess fresh beef and pork production conditions there.
The trip follows discussion by U.S. and Brazilian delegates of bilateral issues at the Consultative Committee on Agriculture recently held in Brasilia. At issue is Brazil's desire to export fresh beef products to the United States and a U.S. desire to ship cattle and beef products to Brazil.
"Brazil expressed concern that after one year of official recognition of Santa Catarina as a FMD free-area without vaccination by the OIE, no practical results have been achieved regarding export of meat from that region to the United States," Williams said, adding that the United States would consider importing beef from any Brazilian state deemed free of FMD but there have been no other proposals from other Brazilian states.
It also has been a year since OIE designated both the United States and Brazil as "controlled-risk" countries for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which technically means they can export a broader array of beef product.
"For the U.S., one of our major concerns is lack of access for U.S. beef, beef products and live cattle," Williams said. Reprinted from meatingplace.com