26 September 2000
Foot-and-mouth outbreak ‘contained’

THE Brazilian government says it has successfully contained an outbreak of bovine foot-and-mouth disease, reports the Finnacial Times.

Officials say the outbreak, which threatened growing beef exports, has not spread beyond three municipalities in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazils most southerly state.

Since the disease was discovered a month ago the government has imposed a virtual quarantine on seven municipalities considered at risk.

Some 650 inspectors have been checking millions of animals on 13,000 properties, and so far have killed 5600 cattle.

Brazil exports 600,000t of meat a year, making it the third largest exporter of bovine meat behind the USA and Australia.

Most exports are processed, and Brazil needs to be certified foot-and-mouth-free to sell fresh or chilled beef to big markets, says the FT.