The cost of no measures
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CTA. 2003. The cost of no measures. Spore 105. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47970
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore105.pdf
Early in 2003, fresh outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) were declared in Botswana and Mozambique.
Early in 2003, fresh outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) were declared in Botswana and Mozambique. With annual exports of beef to the European Union worth between t100 million and t 200 million, Botswana took immediate action: trade was suspended, the area in question was closed off and 4,000 head of cattle were slaughtered. Similar measures had been taken in 2002. What is striking is that both countries, as well as nearby Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, have for decades had vast areas free of FMD. They are all allowed to export boned meat to the EU at low customs duties, under the ACP-EC Cotonou Agreement. Some fear, however, that the EU, which is the principal export market for meat from southern Africa, will go as far as forbidding all meat imports from the region: it is animal diseases, more than customs duties and quotas, which are now the major obstacle to international trade in animal products. Of late, attention has turned to Zimbabwe, where FMD has been declared virtually every year since 1996. The country s economy is going through a difficult period and lacks hard currency for essential imports; nor has it received any of the aid it requested for the purchase of animal vaccines. With the help of Zimbabwe s weak currency, meat smuggling is now rife and has spread the diseases into neighbouring countries. A study by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) commissioned by the British government has concluded that the abandonment of FMD control measures will turn out to be a costly mistake for Zimbabwe (official exports were reported down by 80% in mid-May) and the entire region, whereas they had much to gain from strengthening them. But here s the rub: the costs of the measures are borne by the producer community, whereas the benefits go more to the commercial processing sector than to the poor. No wonder that the report exhorts the private sector to invest in control measures. For further reading: The impact and poverty reduction implications of foot-and-mouth disease control in southern Africa, with special reference to Zimbabwe. B D Perry et al. 2003. ILRI, Nairobi, 2003. 152 pp and CD-ROM ISBN 92 9146 136 9. Downloadable (600 kb) from www.cgiar.org/ilri IILRI Communications P.O. Box 30709, Nairobi, Kenya Fax: + 254 2 631499 Email: email@example.com Web site: http://www.cgiar.org/ilri/