Kansas Cattlemen ask OIE to re-evaluate Brazil's animal health status
Kansas Cattlemen's Association recently was notified by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) regarding a beef cow that died in 2010 that was suspect for a neurological disease and a sample taken from the animal tested positive in immunohistochemical test on Dec. 6.
KCA contacted the OIE to address its concerns over the matter. In light of the events, KCA strongly encouraged the OIE to re-evaluate Brazil's animal health status.
"KCA understands that there are various factors that determine a country's animal health status, one of them being surveillance which encompasses the systematic ongoing collection, collation, and analysis of information related to animal health and the timely dissemination of information to those who need to know so that action can be taken. KCA contends that the lack of oversight and the lack of timely testing within Brazil's disease surveillance system indicate that it does not address disease prevention and control adequately. A two year lag time is simply not acceptable."
Brazil has the largest cattle herd in the world and is the largest exporter of beef in the world. In the first nine months of 2012 Brazil exported more than $4.2 billion worth of meat. KCA stated that it can appreciate Brazil's role in a global market. However, as the world's largest beef producer, responsibilities are incurred and Brazil has shown that it has not taken the responsibility to provide oversight and proper surveillance. This could result in unsafe food that could likely affect multiple counties.
KCA expressed its disappointment that the IOE did not immediately take action, as Brazil still holds its negligible status. Official recognition of disease status is of great significance for international trade, and according to KCA, re-evaluation should be addressed.
"At the very least, it should be downgraded to controlled status, and a reprimand should be in enacted."