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Published September 23, 2011, 10:24 AM

Paraguay bans beef exports in foot-and-mouth case

ASUNCION, Paraguay — Paraguay is banning all beef exports in response to outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease that could devastate its cattle industry.

ASUNCION, Paraguay — Paraguay is banning all beef exports in response to outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease that could devastate its cattle industry.

The government of Fernando Lugo is moving swiftly to contain the outbreak of the disease, which is highly infectious to cows.

Beef is hugely important to Paraguay. It's the No. 2 agricultural export after soy and a major source of jobs. The country sold 170,000 tons of beef last year, generating $800 million. Most of the exports went to Chile.

Tests show just three infected cows, but their entire herd of 819 cattle will be destroyed. Ranch owner Silfrido Baumgarten said Monday that he vaccinated the herd and doesn't know how they got sick.

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