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S American nations agree joint policy to fight foot-and-mouth

12 March 2007

LIMA - Agriculture ministers from six South American nations have agreed on a joint policy for improved cooperation in eliminating foot-and-mouth disease in the region, the Bolivian News Agency reported Friday

In a Friday meeting in the southern Bolivian city Santa Cruz, ministers from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, agreed that under a framework of cooperation, the six nations will work to enhance common standards to strengthen the prevention of foot-and-mouth disease.

The six nations will take control measures under the recommendations of the World Animal Health Organization. The policy will also mobilize the technical support of the Panaftosa laboratory, the Inter-American Agricultural Cooperation Agency, and the United Nations's Food and Agriculture Organization.

Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela are members of South America's Mercosur customs treaty and Bolivia is an associate member.

The six nations produce 28 percent of the world's beef, and Brazil is expected to be the world leader in beef exports in 2007,both in terms of revenue and volume.

In January, Brazil tightened its border with Bolivia, which was then hit by foot-and-mouth disease, in an effort to keep the disease from affecting its world-leading beef exports.

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Source: Mathaba


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