The British mission launched last Friday, November 9th, a joint operation to combat the disease of the Epizootic Gate in Venezuela. Brazilian and Venezuelan veterinarians vaccinated 357 animals in the autochthonous community of Acurim, in the municipality of Gran Sabana, in the region on the border with Roraima.
According to Guilherme Markues, director of the Department of Animal Health of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA) and Brazil's delegate to the OIE, a joint operation in Venezuela applies to all of South America, especially Brazil. "It's not just a humanitarian issue, it's strategy and security. There's a hemispheric plan to fight this disease."
Venezuela is the only country in America that has not yet been recognized without disease in its territory by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
Colombia is another Andean country in the fight against foot-and-mouth disease. On September 17, 2018, the OIE modified the Colombian status of a disease-free zone, following official confirmation of outbreaks in the interior of the country and the western border with Venezuela.
A joint action is foreseen by Resolution no. 1 of the South American Commission for the Control of Foot and Mouth Disease (Cosalfa) since April 2018, which recognized the "need of 13 Member States to support Venezuela" under the coordination of Pan American Diseases of Pineapple (Panaftos).
Apartment – The Venezuelan eradication plan foresees three annual vaccinations for estimated immunization of the herd with 15.4 million heads, according to the Cosalfa-OIE data for 2017: two vaccinations of all animals, from sucking to the expiry and vaccination of only animals to young people.
All Brazil admitted that he vaccinated the OIE in May 2018. The exception is Santa Catarina, without foot-and-mouth disease without vaccination since 2007. At present, the main health threats for Brazilian livestock are the largest in the world, with 219 million in the south of Venezuela, on the dry border of the Northern Region of Brazil, in Roraimi, in the municipality of Pacaraima.
When Brazil submitted to OIE, in September 2017, the recognition of freedom from foot-and-mouth disease with vaccination, presented a proposal to create a protective zone in Pacari. On 8 October 2018, the Normative Direction 52 of the Ministry of Agriculture established a protective zone on an area of 180 square kilometers.
In addition to the 33-kilometer borderline, Pacarai borders Gran Canaria, the largest municipality in Bolivar, the largest state of Venezuela: 240,528 square kilometers and 26% of the country's total area. "In this protection zone," explains Guilherme Markues, "we have put in place more stringent control measures. The actions are stronger, more expressive than the rest of the Roraima state."
The vaccination of all livestock in Pacari is carried out by an official veterinary service (SVO), in a campaign called the official needle. SVO in this area are represented by veterinarians and field assistants of the Federal Agricultural Authority of Roraima (SFA-Roraima) and the Agency for the Protection of Agriculture and Livestock Roraima (ADERR). Animals are individually identified with numbered earrings and consignments accompanied by SVO in sealed trucks.
The Director of the Ministry of Agriculture predicts a long period of existence of a protection zone to be held while Venezuela and Colombia are progressing in eradicating and controlling the disease. According to Guilherma Markues, the assessment of a significant change in the epidemiological scenario in the Andean region is two to four years.
"We contribute to the release of Venezuela from foot-and-mouth disease. Until we arrive there, a protective zone is needed as an additional measure for all the work we have already done in this border region."
The Brazil-Venezuela partnership began to build in Pirenopolis, Goias, in April 2017, when the veterinary authorities of the two countries decided to vaccinate cattle and buffalo cattle within 15 km, drawn on both sides alongside the border line.
In September 2018, Brazilians and Venezuelans met again in Pacaraimi and signed their commitment to joint actions throughout the territory of Venezuela.
The Brazilian private sector has donated 21 million doses of vaccines, managed by Brazil and Venezuela, under the care and coordination of Panafthos.
At the head of Operation Pacari, eight veterinarians work under the guidance of Brazil, Animal Nutrition Coordinator Plinio Leita Lopez and Head of the Foot and Mouth Department, Diego Viali dos Santos.
In the first week of November, five veterinarians nominated by the MAPA Animal Protection Department landed at Boa Vista, the capital of Roraima, to implement the initial phase of the vaccination plan.
Experienced veterinarians Elvio Cazola of the SFA in Mato Grosso do Sul and Roberto Carlos Arruda of the SFA work on the Maranhao plan and coordinate the completion of tasks. Everything is taking place in partnership and in the team of the National Institute for Integrated Animal Health (INSAI), led by the agronomist Ismalianeth Acuna, the regional coordinator for the state of Bolivar.
Cazola and Arruda organized logistics, negotiated with the military, civil authorities and autochthonous leaders the fieldwork of four groups of veterinarians. The effort was rewarded with the supply of free ice for vaccine cooling, a gift from a trader from Santa Elena de Uairen, the city of Venezuela closest to the Brazilian border.
Each group will have a pick-up Chevrolet S10 or Mitsubishi Triton, with tables explained by the military and a permit for free transit; can transport diesel fuel in pulp with special authorization, as there is a comparison in Venezuela; and the phrase "INSAI Service" should be glued on the windshield. To make it easier for people to move through the villages of Gran Sabana, cacak and general-captain Juan Gonzalez found that veterinarians would help with autochthon guides.
The mission is to vaccinate all cattle in Gran Sabana (560 heads, unofficial assessment) from the Brazilian border to the interior of Venezuela and the neighboring Sifontes municipality (6,700 heads, unofficially) to inspect clinics, herds and flocks. Prior to vaccination, the appointment is approved by the owner or owner of the property.
The team is based in Pacaraima but is supported by two other veterinarians based in Boa Vista: Terezinha Brandao, Animal Health Manager SFA-Roraima and Marcos Duarte from ADERR, responsible for Roraima for the National Plan for the Prevention of Foot and Mouth Disease ( PNEFA).
Cazola and Arruda will carry out serological work, controlling the shipment to the National Agricultural Laboratory – Lanagro de Pedro Leopoldo, in Minas Gerais, any sample of animals with symptoms of foot-and-mouth disease collected on Venezuelan estates.
Last week, November 11, three Venetians reached the border to complete a team with a Brazilian veterinarian: Maria Velasquez, a veterinarian; Sergio Ruiz and Kenni Parra, field assistants. They start working on Monday, 12th.
Veterinarian Marcondes Dias Tavares, who worked in ADERR, worked in Pacaraime's protective zone on November 6, accompanied by Jose Gregorio, a Venezuelan assistant on the ground. Marandosa's work strengthened veterans Allan Cristian Mesacas and Ernani Machado de Lima – provided by the Mato Grosso Institute of Agriculture and Cattle (Indea-MT) – and Nilton Mesquita Junior, donated by the Association Mato Grosso Breeders (Acrimat).
Gaucho Elvio Cazola is proud of the work of Brazilian veterinarians in just four days. "Guris turned away," Cazola said. "357 animals have been vaccinated in the autochthonous communities of Gran Sabana, and in the next three days, from Monday, 12th to 14th, the vaccination is scheduled for another 9 properties."