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Argentina on alert over foot-and-mouth disease

31 January 2007

ARGENTINA - Argentina, the world's third-biggest beef exporter, said on Tuesday it was stepping up existing measures to prevent foot-and-mouth disease following an outbreak in neighboring Bolivia.

"Due to the three outbreaks of foot-and-mouth detected in the Santa Cruz province of Bolivia, the alert declared in October 2005 will remain in place and be strengthened," Senasa, Argentina's food and animal health inspection service, said in a statement.

The 2005 alert, imposed after an outbreak in neighboring Brazil -- the world's top beef supplier -- steps up border controls and suspends certain imports in a bid to stop the highly contagious virus from spreading.

On Monday, authorities in Brazil said Bolivia had suspended meat and dairy exports due to the outbreak in the eastern province of Santa Cruz, one of Bolivia's most important ranching areas.

Brazil also moved to bolster controls in border areas.

Argentina said in April 2006 it had eradicated foot-and-mouth disease following a program of vaccination and slaughtering in northern Corrientes province, where an outbreak two months earlier had sparked some bans on Argentine beef.

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Source: Scientific American.com


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