The National Agrifood Health and Quality Service (SENASA) in Argentina has confirmed the presence of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the country. The outbreak occurred in the Province of Salta, near the Bolivian border. A number of pigs at a municipal abattoir showed symptoms of FMD in early September and laboratory diagnosis shortly after confirmed that these animals had the FMD virus (serotype O).

SENASA has embarked on a number of measures to control the spread of the disease including quarantine and movement controls, vaccination, stamping out and zoning. Investigations are continuing into the origin of the infection and how the disease was spread.

News of the outbreak comes only two months after the Office International de Epizooties (OIE) declared Argentina to be FMD free with vaccination. Two sanitary missions were due to arrive in Argentina in early October to evaluate the possibility of re-opening the US and Canadian markets to fresh meat in 2004. The confirmation of FMD is likely to damage these efforts.

Source: Meat & Livestock Australia