Dr. Thomas J. Schiefer makes recommendations
for the country's Ministry of Agriculture.
June 24, 2004
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.