September 3, 2003



Foot-and-Mouth Symptoms in Argentina Confirmed


Presence of livestock with symptoms of the foot-and-mouth disease in a slaughter house of the city of Tartagal, in the Argentine province of Salta, near the border with Bolivia, was confirmed by the local agriculture secretariat (SAGPyA) on Sept 1, 2003.


The secretariat said that samples had been taken to confirm the presence or not of the virus in laboratories. The suspicious symptoms appeared in a zone, which was reported alert for the foot-and-mouth disease in July 2003.


The secretariat also admitted that the final results of the taken samples had not been ready yet but that preventive measures had already been taken.


The zone is considered as very risky as it is located next to Bolivia and Paraguay. In this area, the Argentine Government has reportedly vaccinated all the species and implemented a programme of monitoring.


The Argentine sanitary authorities tightened in July 2003 the control over the country's border with Paraguay and Bolivia due to possible presence of foot-and-mouth disease in the two neighbouring states.


Argentina's sanitary agency Senasa has activated the national sanitary emergency system Sinaesa and ordered the mobilisation of a technical team to control the sanitary actions protecting the Argentine livestock.


The Argentine authorities said that the measures had been taken following reported suspicious cases in Boqueron, northwestern Paraguay, and presence of a hotbed of the disease in Candua, province Hernando Siles, Bolivia.


According to Senasa, the Argentine border with Bolivia and Paraguay has been closed since the beginning of the year for products that can transmit foot-and-mouth disease. Senasa has also warned the epidemiological supervision system in Argentina, including regional supervisors, local governments, local sanitary bodies, border police and livestock owners.
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