S.America takes aim at foot-and-mouth disease

Agriculture ministers from six South American countries agreed at a meeting Wednesday to make the eradication of foot-and-mouth disease a regional priority.

The Brasilia gathering followed a foot-and-mouth outbreak in Paraguay in September that led to a temporary ban by Brazil on all imports of beef, pork, and live cattle and from its small neighbor.

"The eradication of is a priority for the region," ministers and top officials from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay said in a final statement.

Participants said the outbreak, which affected 13 animals in Paraguay's province of San Pedro, 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Asuncion and triggered an alert in the entire region, was deemed to have been brought under control.

In reaction to the outbreak, Uruguay, where beef is the top export, immediately closed its borders to animals, animal byproducts and certain goods from Paraguay.

Argentina, the sixth largest beef exporter, then issued a food health alert and suspended imports from Paraguay.

is the number two export for mostly rural Paraguay, totaling $650 million last year.

"As a region, we are going to focus on identifying the causes and prevent this type of outbreak from recurring in each of our regions," Paraguay's Agriculture Minister Panfilo Alberto Ortiz told a press conference.

His Argentine counterpart Julian Dominguez hailed regional coordination in confronting the .

"Together we will be stronger," said Brazil's Minister Jorge Alberto Mendes Ribeiro.

The ministers called for international assistance to Paraguay.

Related Stories

Faulty vaccine caused foot-and-mouth outbreak: Paraguay

date Nov 01, 2011

A botched vaccine intended to protect Paraguay's livestock against foot-and-mouth disease was responsible for transmitting the ailment to hundreds of animals that later had to be destroyed, the government said Tuesday.

Yellow fever outbreak reported in Paraguay

date Feb 25, 2008

Health officials reported an outbreak of yellow fever in Paraguay, with seven confirmed cases in San Pedro and four as yet unconfirmed cases in San Lorenzo.

Recommended for you

Sierra Leone marks grim Ebola anniversary

date 2 hours ago

On May 24 last year a pregnant woman and an older housewife staggered into Kenema hospital in eastern Sierra Leone and were diagnosed within a day as the country's first Ebola cases.

MSF fighting cholera outbreak in Tanzania refugee camps

date 21 hours ago

Medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) said Sunday it had launched emergency treatment centres in Tanzania, where thousands of Burundians fleeing unrest have been hit by cholera.

Bacteria blamed in indigenous Mexican baby deaths

date May 23, 2015

Bacteria—and not a contaminated vaccine as initially suspected—were to blame for the recent deaths of two Mexican babies and for sickening 29 others, according to an official investigation.

Explainer: What is Chagas disease?

date May 22, 2015

According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), in a Los Angeles clinic treating patients with heart failure, about 20% of Latin American patients have Chagas disease. What is that?, y ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.