Brazil’s first foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in nearly three years, announced towards the end of June, has resulted in minimal disruption to Brazil’s beef export trade.

The outbreak occurred in the northern state of Pará – from a herd of 130 cattle tested for FMD, three were declared positive. The outbreak site is located around 700km north of the zone recognised by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as ‘FMD free with vaccination’. The OIE believes that the risk of spreading the disease is low as the site is located in an area where access is difficult, with movements mainly via the Amazon River.

Since the outbreak site is in a region not yet declared by the OIE to be ‘FMD free with vaccination’ and contains a small proportion of Brazil’s cattle herd, the loss of export markets has been minimal, with only Russia temporarily suspending Brazilian beef imports. Russia, Brazil’s third largest export market, has imposed a temporary ban on all Brazilian beef imports until the Brazilian agriculture ministry provides more information about the outbreak. The ban is expected to be lifted shortly.

The Brazilian agriculture ministry has denied that this latest outbreak will impede efforts to eradicate the disease by 2005.

Source: Meat & Livestock Australia