Two Brazilian states covered and partially covered by the Amazon rainforest, Amazonas and Amapá, have been recognised by the government as free from FMD with vaccination.
This announcement means the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Brazil “will” recognise Brazil as a country free from FMD, but where vaccination is still practised, according to the government.
“It is the crowning of 60 years of work for Brazil to be free of foot-and-mouth disease with vaccination,” said Blairo Maggi, Brazil’s Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply.
“In 2018, Brazil will be recognised as a country free of foot-and-mouth disease with vaccination by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). In the sequence, we already have a programme in which Brazil will be declared free of foot-and-mouth disease without vaccination.”
There are 66 countries currently recognised by the OIE as being free from FMD without vaccination. These nations include beef exporters like Ireland and the US, as well as the country that is home to the world’s best steak, Poland.
Being declared from FMD could have some big trade benefits for Brazil, one of the world’s largest beef traders. Currently, the country cannot sell beef to Japan, a high-value market, because it is not recognised as being free from FMD. But that will all change should Brazil be declared free of the disease.
“From recognition, Brazil will start to have a bigger market,” added Maggi.
“Brazil is, today, a major exporter of meat, but at lower prices because we face these health difficulties. Solve this and we will increase our prices. Today we sell meat to over 150 countries worldwide. We want to expand the offer in more competitive markets, which pay better, which will bring more income to the Brazilian producers.”
OIE statement to this site: "The OIE welcomes the will expressed by the Brazilian Minister in its statement to progress toward freedom from FMD for its country.
"Official recognitions of animal disease status are delivered each year by the OIE, in May, during the OIE General Assembly, after a decision based on the technical evaluation of the dossiers presented by the member countries. The evaluation process is confidential and has multiple steps, including evaluation by the experts of the OIE’s Scientific Commission on Animal Disease in February. This confidentiality requirement explains why the OIE makes no comment on individual countries, their dossiers, or the findings during evaluation throughout this process. According to the conclusions of the evaluation, demands of countries are accepted or rejected by the General Assembly in May, and then adopted Official Recognitions are immediately publicly announced."