Paraguay confirms new foot-and-mouth outbreak

January 3, 2012

Major beef exporter Paraguay confirmed a new outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease Tuesday in the north of the country, four days after lifting a state of emergency imposed in the region in September.

Daniel Rojas, head of the government's animal health service, said a "positive test result" of the highly contagious for cattle had been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

The authorities on Tuesday ordered the slaughter of about 150 cattle belonging to a rancher near San Pedro, some 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Asuncion.

The new outbreak was about 30 kilometers from an outbreak reported in September, which led to the slaughter of some 1,000 animals.

Paraguay, one of the 10 largest beef exporters in the world, suspended exports in September and had been preparing to resume sales to Russia, Brazil and Venezuela.

As a result of last year's outbreak, Paraguay's beef exports for 2011 fell to $700 million, from about $900 million the previous year.

One of the most contagious animal diseases known to scientists, foot-and-mouth (also known as hoof-and-mouth) disease infects mainly cattle and swine but also sheep and goats.

The disease can be spread by dust, animal-to-animal contact in , through consumption of contaminated animal products and even by farm implements and vehicles.

Although adult animals normally do not die from the disease, they must be destroyed once infected to keep it from spreading.

The government paid compensation last year to owners of the animals but this time will not, officials said.

Nestor Nunez, president of the Rural Association of Paraguay, criticized this as "punishment by example" for the cattle owner.

Officials said last year that a botched vaccine intended to protect Paraguay's livestock against was responsible for transmitting the ailment to hundreds of animals.

The prompted neighboring countries to ban the import of Paraguayan meat, livestock, and meat by-products to prevent the spread of the disease across international boundaries.

The agriculture ministers from six South American countries agreed in November to make the eradication of foot-and-mouth disease a regional priority.

Related Stories

Faulty vaccine caused foot-and-mouth outbreak: Paraguay

November 1, 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.

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 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.