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Cablegate: Foot and Mouth Disease Eradication in South

VZCZCXYZ0029
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #8256 3311601
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271601Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0295

UNCLAS BOGOTA 008256

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR: USDA/APHIS; KAREN SLITER; STATE OES/IHB; ANDREA
LAURITZEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR PTER KSCA CO
SUBJECT: FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE ERADICATION IN SOUTH
AMERICA DEMARCHE DELIVERED

REF: STATE 151663


1. On November 6 Econoff raised reftel issue with Colombian
Ministry of External Relations (MRE) North America Desk
Officer Claudia Cuevas and delivered non-paper. Cuevas said
she would distribute non-paper to appropriate GOC agencies.
Based on the recommendation of the Embassy's Agricultural
Attache and Animal and Plant Inspection Services (APHIS)
Attache, post has decided not to demarche the Ministry of
Agriculture (MinAg) at this time. We believe that it would
be counter-productive given the recent history of cooperation
and progress.

2. Over the past several years MinAg and USDA/APHIS have
worked closely together to eradicate Foot and Mouth Disease
(FMD) from Colombia. USDA has spent over USD 50 million on
this project, and Colombia has invested significant funds as
well, generating significant progress. Following a recent
USDA decision to reduce funding for the project, the GOC
picked up the slack and earmarked an additional USD 2.4
million for FMD eradication in 2008 to keep the efforts going.

3. In the past two years the MinAg's regulatory agency, the
Colombian Institute for Agriculture (ICA), increased FMD
surveillance efforts, hired more people, and increased
funding. The Colombian Cattlemen's Association invests
approximately USD 14 million per year to conduct two
vaccination campaigns. Last year the campaigns reached over
24 million head of cattle, or approximately 90 percent of the
cattle population. As a direct result of these efforts the
World Animal Health Organization recognizes 75 percent of
Colombia as free of FMD with vaccination: Colombia hopes to
increase to 100 percent free by May 2008.

4. Colombia's government and private sectors are committed,
both politically and economically, to eradicating FMD from
the country. Given Colombia's progress and demonstration of
political will -- and its willingness to dedicate additional
funding following the reduction in USDA moneys -- post does
not believe it would be opportune to deliver a message to the
MinAg implying that they are not taking FMD eradication
seriously. USDA/APHIS Bogota will continue to work with
Colombian officials on FMD eradication and report any changes
pertinent to this issue.
Brownfield

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