The smuggling of cattle from Venezuela poses the risk of an outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease in Colombia, according to the country’s agriculture minister.
“A lot of contraband cattle is entering through Venezuela, it comes and goes like a carrousel, this is the main black button we have with the risk that on that carrousel a diseased cow from our neighbor is going to come through,” said Juan Camilo Restrepo.
Restrepo said that it is difficult to control the smuggling of Venezuelan cattle because of the massive border, despite advancing efforts to control the practice.
“We have 2,500 of border with Venezuela, a porous border, immense and there they have prices that are artificially low, so naturally a market like Colombia’s is a magnet,” he added.
Restrepo postulated that the first department that would be affected in case of outbreak would be Arauca, situated along the border in central western Colombia.