Venezuela closes borders to the commercial exchange with Colombia for outbreak of Aphthous Fever

The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has adopted a set of extraordinary measures in order to protect the borders of the country, given the imminent epidemiological risk that constitutes the current epizootic of Aphthous Fever (Foot-and-Mouth Desease) unleashed in the Republic of Colombia.

In a communique issued by the National Institute of Integral Agricultural Health (Insai), entity attached to the People’s Power Ministry for Productive Agriculture and Land, the National Executive specified the decisions:

1. To close the borders to the commercial exchange with Colombia of animals, products and by-products capable of transporting or transmitting the Aphthous Fever: standing ruminants, pigs, meats, sausages, dairy products and derivatives of animal origin.

2. Intensify epidemiological surveillance in the border states, performing clinical surveillance in risk areas, urging the community to report, immediately, any incidence of animals that present drooling, claudication, vesicular and ulcerative lesions in the mouth, hooves, udders and mucous membranes, as well as any other health condition.

3. Deploy 60 specialist veterinarians of INSAI and MPPAPT, with the support of members of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces and Migration Police, in border areas, ports and airports to strengthen inspections of baggage, ships, aircraft and any suspicious cargo from from Colombia.

4. Vaccinate the entire bovine and buffalo herd of the country against Aphthous Fever, emphasizing the border regions with Colombia, within the framework of the current vaccination against Aphthous Fever, which the country has been developing since October 15 2018, with the support of the Pan-American Aphthous Fever Center (Panaftosa), whose technicians will join the epidemiological fence established by Venezuela to prevent the spread of the disease from Colombian territory.

5. Suspend and render ineffective any procedure for the importation of susceptible animals, products and by-products of risk, from the Republic of Colombia.

6. Order the immediate sacrifice, destruction and incineration of any animal, product or by-product of risk originated in Colombia and that its illegal transit within the national territory be detected.

7. Reaffirm the validity of Resolution DM / N ° 038/2017, of the Mppapt, by which the importation of animals and products susceptible of transmitting or vehiculating the FMD virus from the Republic of Colombia was suspended, thus protecting the health of the National Flock.

The first outbreak of Aphthous Fever in the New Granada country, according to the statement, was confirmed on June 24, 2017, being the most recent focus reported on October 26, 2018.

With this, there are 9 confirmed outbreaks throughout the Colombian territory, with six departments affected: Arauca, Boyacá, Cundinamarca, Norte de Santander, Cesar and La Guajira.

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