July 28, 2022
Major Brazilian meatpacker says animal health risk assessments blocking trade
Joao Sampaio, the director of institutional affairs at major Brazilian beef processor Minerva SA, said unfair health risk assessments are blocking the global meat trade, Reuters reported.
Sampaio used Turkey as an example, which does not import beef from Brazil but does purchase live cattle there.
During a panel discussion on animal health, Sampaio said they don't import beef, claiming the risk of foot-and-mouth disease, but live cattle imports into Turkey are even riskier.
He said because of religious reasons, Turkey would prefer to import live cattle and slaughter the animal at home.
Brazil, which exports more beef than any other country in the world, was deemed to be vaccinated-free of foot-and-mouth disease by the OIE in 2018.
The state-run news agency Agencia Brasil reported that Brazil's agriculture ministry decided this year to halt the vaccination against foot-and-mouth disease in six states starting in November 2022.
According to Agencia Brasil, who cited the ministry, this would result in 113 million cattle and buffaloes, or nearly half of the nation's total herd, no longer receiving vaccinations.
The suspension is a part of an initiative to increase areas that are immune to foot-and-mouth disease without vaccination. By 2026, the Brazilian government hopes to have completely eradicated the illness there without the use of vaccinations.
Sampaio said that Indonesia is a another market with which Brazil could expand its beef trade. He said that although Indonesia selectively imports beef from Brazil, it forbids the use of specific plants and locations due to zoonotic concerns.
He said Indonesia is currently dealing with an outbreak of the foot-and-month disease. The health scare coincides with a decline in Indonesia's live cattle imports from Australia, which hastened the disruption of internal supplies.
Sampaio said they need to negotiate more, and open more markets.