U.S. Embassy Montevideo - Archives


U.S. Veterinarian visits Uruguay

Dr. Thomas J. Schiefer makes recommendations for the country's Ministry of Agriculture.

June 24, 2004


Veterinarians of MGAP and  USDA APHIS Dr. Thomas J. Schiefer, a Veterinary Medical Officer with APHIS USDA, visited Uruguay as a consultant to MGAP on Brucellosis. During his visit, Dr. Schiefer visited the departments of Rocha and San Jose, and met with producers, private veterinarians and MGAP officials to review the UY eradication plan for Brucellosis. At the end of his trip he attended the XXXII annual Buiatría (Livestock) Conference in Paysandú and gave a presentation which included a number of recommendations.

Schiefer said Uruguay has a good Ministry of Agriculture, good private practitioners and excellent laboratories and databases. The following recommendations were made during the conference:

1. Education of veterinarians and producers on placing Brucellosis as the highest priority in situations with abortions, retained placentas, weak calves, low birthing numbers and reduced milk production. Educating owners of the importance of testing all animals for Brucellosis before entering their herds would reduce the spread of the disease.

2. Increasing surveillance in the low incidence areas and with all movement of animals in commerce. It is better to invest funds on locating the foci of infections left rather than hiding or disguising the infection with a national Strain 19 vaccination program.

3. Public Information Section of MGAP to put together a program to explain the situation, the Brucellosis program and the Action Plan; including progress being made, the value of RB51 vaccine, and the responsibilities each group (Ministry, private veterinarians and producers) has in this program. It would also be helpful to talk about the economic benefits eradicating Brucellosis would have both on the producer and the country.

Dr, Schiefer is a Veterinary Medical Officer with vast experience in epidemiology, Brucellosis, infectious diseases and diagnosis of animal diseases. He has large animal experience with more than 32 years as a field Veterinary Medical Officer working with cattle, swine, sheep, horses, and various exotic species. He is a trained Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostician for Veterinary Services, and was active in the eradication of Hog Cholera from North Carolina and Brucellosis from Colorado.


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