Mexico suspends Colombian dairy imports due to foot and mouth disease

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s agriculture sanitation authority SENASICA said on Friday it has suspended all dairy imports from Colombia after new outbreaks of foot and mouth disease were detected in the Andean country.

Colombian authorities said two new outbreaks of the disease were discovered in the central Cundinamarca department, where there are six dairy processing plants authorized to export to Mexico, according to SENASICA. It said no dairy products from these plants were exported to Mexico in 2016 and 2017.

Foot and mouth is a highly contagious and sometimes fatal disease affecting hoofed animals such as sheep, goats, cattle, buffalo and pigs, although it is not a direct threat to humans.

Earlier this month, Russia and Curacao, two of Colombia’s biggest beef buyers, suspended meat shipments from the Andean nation after an outbreak of the disease.

SENASICA had on June 25 already suspended imports from Colombia of raw and treated bovine, buffalo and goat hides.

Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Cynthia Osterman