FMD antibodies found in Argentinean bovids

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Argentina has temporarily suspended certification of fresh, chilled, and frozen beef exports to the United States. On Aug 2 the country obtained positive serologic results on foot-and-mouth disease tests conducted on several bovids brought illegally into that country.

Recently, Argentina had been declared free of FMD without vaccination requirements. The USDA-APHIS has placed a temporary hold on imports from that country.

According to a technical report prepared by SENASA, Argentina's sanitary agency, four of the 10 bovids illegally imported tested positive before slaughter. None of them had signs of vesicular disease. Eighty-two animals on the same farm were slaughtered. Eight of them had tested positive for the FMD virus antibody.

The Central Bureau of the Office Internationale des Epizooties has noted that the SENASA report acknowledges that FMD virus antibodies have been detected but not whether this is considered to be a confirmation of infection.

The OIE Central Bureau has asked the delegate of Argentina for clarification on his country's FMD status. The OIE Commission on FMD and Other Epizootics has been asked for its evaluation and advice.

Questions can be directed to the Emergency Programs staff at USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services, (800) 940-6524; e-mail, emocatusda [dot] gov.