MAPA said that $34.8m had been spent on tackling and preventing the disease in seven states in the north east and in Pará over the last two years, with significant progress made. It predicted that these areas would be nationally recognised as FMD-free by May this year, with Brazil recognised as FMD-free by the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) by the end of 2014.
Currently, only the Brazilian states of Bahia and Sergipe are FMD-free. However, 89% of the country’s herd of cattle and buffalo, or 185 million head, are in this region. Once the states of Alagoas, Ceará, Maranhão, Pará, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí and Rio Grande do Norte are recognised as FMD-free, another 22 million animals will be added, bringing the total percentage of animals in FMD-free zones to 99%.
“The Ministry of Agriculture has been working for years for the country to have the largest herd in the world free of the disease. With these advances, several markets that are still inaccessible will surely be opened,” said the Guilherme Marques, director of the Department of Animal Health.
Brazilian veterinary authorities are currently carrying out a sampling of cattle herds to demonstrate they are free of the disease. Since the second half of 2012, more than 17,000 farms have been monitored with more than 71,000 animals sampled. The study is expected to finish in early May.
This week, authorities and experts gathered to establish what work had been achieved in 2012, and set a schedule to complete the work in 2013. MAPA wants to send a report on the country’s progress to the OIE by July this year.
Brazil launched the National Programme for Prevention and Eradication of FMD (PNEFA) in 1992, with the first FMD-free zone recognised in 1998.