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FMD in Paraguayan cattle causes Latin American pork trade to shiver

An outbreak in Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) in Paraguayan cattle herds has casued many countries in Latin America to take a prudent approach to all livestock trade – including pork.

Brazil has announced to temporarily ban all imports of beef, pork, and live cattle and pig trade from Paraguay, the country’s agriculture ministry said in a statement.

Peru said it was banning the import of livestock from Paraguay for 180 days to try to contain the disease.

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, issued a food health alert and suspended imports from Paraguay.

Domestic measures
Paraguay itself has ordered the destruction of the 1,000 head of cattle. The outbreak was detected on a farm 350 km north of the capital, Asunción.

"The animals and their remains will be destroyed to prevent their meat from being sold," said governor Jose Ledesma of Paraguay's San Pedro department where authorities said 13 cows had been found to have the highly contagious viral disease.

Paraguay suspended livestock exports for 80 days, moving to throw the brakes on a crisis that is certain to hit the country's economy hard and set back its recovery from another Foot-and-Mouth Disease outbreak in 2002. It only regained disease-free status in 2005.

Beef is the number two export for small and mostly rural Paraguay, totalling $US650 million (US$634.33 million) last year.

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