Russia has banned beef imports from nine Brazilian states because of growing concerns about foot-and-mouth disease, the Brazilian government said on Friday.
Brazil is the world's No. 1 beef export and &to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/87/345/16441_immigrants.html' target=_blank>Russia is its second-largest beef market, after the European Union.
The Brazilian Agriculture Ministry said it received a note from Russia's veterinary agency in Moscow stating it would extend the ban currently on beef and pork from Mato Grosso do Sul state to include that coming from Mato Grosso, Goias, Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais, Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul _ effective immediately.
The Brazilian government has confirmed two states with foot-and-mouth disease in their herds. The outbreak in Mato Grosso do Sul began on Oct. 10 and spread to 29 ranches over the course of seven weeks. Neighboring Parana state was confirmed to have cattle with the virus on Wednesday. The cattle were purchased from a ranch in Mato Grosso do Sul.
Unlike mad cow disease, foot-and-mouth disease is rarely spread to humans but it is highly contagious in animals.