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An FMD & BSE Free Country
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Argentina, an FMD-Free Country

Argentina, cattle country by excellence, lost many of its meat buying markets after an FMD (Foot and Mouth Disease) outbreak took place in 2001 in the northern province of Salta, which shares its borders with Paraguay, a country where the disease has not yet been controlled.

In January 2005, after a strong vaccination campaign throughout the country, which included three rounds of vaccines to all the national livestock, Argentina gained back the official status of "FMD Free Country With Vaccination" from the Office International des Epizooties (OIE), for the region located North of the 42nd South Parallel. The region located south of the mentioned parallel, Patagonia, has never lost its “Free FMD Country Without Vaccination”.

Now that Argentina has reestablished its sanitary situation, future government funding will be focused on maintaining this well-deserved status.

A BSE-Free Country, as well

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is the scientific term for a disease which affects the brains of cattle. Soon after BSE was first discovered in the United Kingdom, it became more commonly known as "mad cow disease", most likely because of the emotional response it generated with the public. Unlike most livestock diseases, BSE is not caused by a bacterial or viral infection, but rather is the result of infectious priors. These are unique proteins that may bond with a cow's brain cells, altering their composition and ultimately leading to the animal's death. Mad cow disease is believed to be transferred to cattle when they eat these infectious proteins, yet science has shown the disease can only affect those cows that are genetically susceptible. The disease is deadly not only for cattle but for human beings.

BSE has never been found in Argentina. Furthermore, It most likely will never be, because of the feeding system its used here. Grain, hay, open field pastures, among other natural foods are what is used to fatten livestock. That way, we do not only avoid that kind of risks, we produce meat that is soft and tender.

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