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Venezuela takes measures against foot-and-mouth disease

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Mar 2, 2005
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Venezuela's Agriculture & Land Ministry takes measures against foot-and-mouth disease

The (Caracas) Daily Journal staffer Robert Taglialegne writes: The Venezuelan Agriculture & Land Ministry (MAT) said the country is taking measures against foot-and-mouth disease that affects cattle and other cloven-hoofed animals and announced the cancellation of import permits of meat from areas in Brazil.

Betzaida Viafara, MAT’s farming safety chief, said that Bahia and other areas in Brazil where the disease was reported are under quarantine.

Preventing animal imports from those areas is a preventive measure taken by Venezuela.
“All countries implement controls to safeguard the national bovine production. Those controls imply decisions like closing the borders and the suspension of imports permits for products and byproducts,” Viafara said.

Venezuela joins Argentina in blocking beef from areas where the disease was detected. Brazil is the world’s largest beef exporter. Three weeks ago, Venezuela banned imports of chickens and eggs from Colombia to prevent the spread of the bird flu in this country.

Venezuelan Infectious Diseases Society President Maria Eugenia Landaeta said the risk of a outbreak of the bird flu in this country is small. “Although there is always the possibility (of an outbreak), and if the chickens are transferred from one place to another, theoretically there is a possibility. In practice, I don’t want to say remote, but not so probable that in the short-term we’ll have the illness in this country,” Landaeta said.

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