A new outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease has been confirmed in Paraguay, one of the 10 largest beef exporters in the world.
The outbreak is about 30kms from an outbreak reported in September, which led to the slaughter of about 1,000 animals and a suspension of beef exports.
AFP reports that, as a result of last year's outbreak, Paraguay's beef exports for 2011 fell to $US700 million from about $US900 million in 2010.
The state of emergency imposed after the earlier outbreak was lifted four days ago and Paraguay was preparing to resume sales to Russia, Brazil and Venezuela when the latest outbreak was discovered.
The agriculture ministers from six South American countries agreed in November to make the eradication of foot-and-mouth a regional priority.