South America takes action over FMD

Foot and mouth disease 'multination sanitary missions' will take action in the second half of March along the common borders of Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia, where foot and mouth disease is endemic Uruguayan authorities revealed.

An on-line news report from Merco Press, stated that Francisco Muzio, head of Livestock Services at the Uruguayan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, said the border area in the heart of South America had seen a repeat of the same foot-and-mouth virus strain over the past decade.

Muzio said in the report: "The Agriculture Council of the south, made up of Mercosur member countries, is meeting this week in Santa Cruz, Bolivia to address the issue and decide on definitive measures.

"All the region's agriculture ministers and heads of animal health departments will be present".

The report said in December last year a special sanitary mission from FAO's Animal Health World Organisation (IEO) visited the region and came up with several proposals to combat foot-and-mouth disease in the common border of Paraguay with Matto Grosso do Sul in Brazil and the triple border area in Chaco, shared by Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.

A high risk area under surveillance includes a 15km wide strip of land along the shared borders in the four countries and "represents a significant step to ensure effective controls and a timetable of goals to build on".

"Mercosur Free of Foot and Mouth programme is funding the initiative which, with the help from veterinarians from all countries involved, should enable a strict monitoring of a common border area in countries with a high risk of viral circulation and structurally weak sanitary programs", Muzio said in the report.

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