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Friday, May 11, 2001

Brazil confirms second outbreak

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) -- Brazilian authorities confirmed a second outbreak of highly contagious foot-and-mouth disease Thursday in the southern state Rio Grande do Sul.

The confirmation came just one day after the government began vaccinating the state's entire herd of 13 million cattle to prevent the disease from spreading.

Rio Grande do Sul's agriculture secretary, Jose Hermetto Hoffmann, said the disease was detected in seven animals at a ranch in Alegrete, 1,150 kilometres southwest of Sao Paulo.

The ranch is just 150 kilometres from Santana do Livramento, where 11 cows with the disease were discovered over the weekend.

Because of the outbreak and vaccination campaign Chile, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Britain have stopped importing beef from Rio Grande do Sul, Moraes said Thursday.

The state accounts for almost 10 per cent of Brazil's herd of 160 million head of cattle, one of the world's largest. The state is responsible for about eight per cent of the country's beef exports. In 2000, Brazil exported 308,000 tonnes of beef.

-- Rachel Gibson (, May 11, 2001

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