Concerns rise as Dominican Republic allows meat imports from Brazil, risking disease outbreaks
Santo Domingo.- The National Association of Livestock Producers of Meat (Asocarne) has expressed its deep concern over the Dominican government’s decision to grant permits for the importation of meat from Brazil. Brazil has been declared positive for diseases such as “Foot and Mouth Disease” and has had cases of “BSE or Mad Cow,” while the Dominican Republic is considered free from these diseases.
Enrique de Castro, president of Asocarne, highlighted that the importation of meat from a country with such disease risks poses a significant threat to the entire bovine sector, including meat, milk, and cheese production. This move also jeopardizes the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Dominicans who are directly or indirectly dependent on these agricultural activities.
De Castro emphasized that introducing any of these diseases into the Dominican Republic would not only endanger public health but also pose a significant risk to the country’s tourism industry. He mentioned that even a single case of “BSE” on Dominican soil would jeopardize the safety of the entire food system.
The president of Asocarne also pointed out that the Dominican Republic lacks the economic and technical resources to inspect and ensure that imported meat products comply with health and safety standards. He noted that the country has not inspected a single shipment of imported meats in over two decades, deciding to open imports from Brazil even more concerning.
Asocarne estimates that at least 55 meat establishments in Brazil have been authorized to export meat products to the Dominican Republic, with no detailed information provided about the location or types of products approved for import.
De Castro emphasized that the Dominican Republic’s achievements in exporting beef to the United States were the result of years of rigorous processes and investments in structural and procedural adaptations to meet safety standards. The entry of meat from Brazil poses a risk to these efforts and the reputation of Dominican meats.
Asocarne called on the Dominican government to halt the importation process until thorough inspections of Brazilian slaughterhouses, farms, and the entire meat supply chain are conducted. They also requested the establishment of rigorous inspection processes for imported products that could affect the health of the Dominican population.
Furthermore, Asocarne urged the government to demand proof that any outbreaks of diseases affecting cattle in Brazil are reported promptly and that Brazil complies with international trade agreements.
Brazil has faced challenges in various parts of the world, including China, Russia, Thailand, and Arab countries, due to outbreaks of BSE, as noted by Asocarne.
Asocarne’s primary objective is to strengthen animal health in the livestock subsector and promote the development of the bovine sector in the Dominican Republic. They also aim to promote the production and consumption of domestically produced beef. The association brings together producers and companies involved in the meat sector, including those involved in the slaughter, processing, and production of meat products from bovine, pork, and ovine animal species.