As a result of combined efforts on behalf of the American Brahman Breeders Association, USDA Foreign Agriculture Service, APHIS and other cooperatives a live cattle shipment from the United States to Ecuador was made on May 20, 2015. A total of 171 head of cattle were shipped via air to Latacunga Airport in Ecuador. U.S. exporter, Rene Strickland of Florida spearheaded the shipment with the help of Josefina Muskus of Texas. This marks the first sale and shipment of live cattle from the United States to Latin South America in 12 years since the 2003 occurrence of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in the United States.
ABBA attributes much of this success to FAS Quito staff, Regional Agriculture Attache, Mariano Beillard and FAS Marketing Assistant, Andres Barahona for their persistence and supporting a scouting mission to Texas and Florida in October 2014 along with Ministry of Agriculture General Coordinator for Planning, Carlos Eduardo Noboa and Director for Policies and Strategies, Jorge Santiago Garzon of the Office of Undersecretary of Livestock. While in Texas, the delegation visited ABBA headquarters in Houston and met with ABBA Executive Vice President, Chris Shivers and Recording Secretary, Armelinda Ibarra to express their interest in pursuing a U.S. protocol for the importation of live Brahman cattle and semen to Ecuador. The delegation also visited Texas A&M Animal Science Department and conducted several ranch visits during this trip. Meetings were very positive and countless communication efforts via phone and email followed to reach agreements on sanitary issues and protocol for the shipment of live cattle to Ecuador. In April 2015, FAS Quito returned to Texas with a Selection Team including Minister of Agriculture, Javier Ponce and Undersecretary, Margoth Hernandez to make final cattle selections for the export of cattle to Ecuador. The government of Ecuador is working diligently to rebuild their national herd with plans to auction the imported cattle to small and medium size ranchers. The donated semen and bulls will be used in the Ministry’s genetic research center. Reports indicate that the Government of Ecuador, through public sponsored and private sector purchases, is anticipating importing about 20,000 to 30,000 head of cattle over the next three years.
This historic event would not have been possible without the programs implemented by the USDA FAS. The ABBA utilizes these programs for overseas marketing and promotional activities. ABBA will continue work to re-gain those markets that have not yet opened and focus to build other export markets for live Brahman cattle and genetics.
A special thanks to the FAS Quito Attache Mariano Beillard and Andres Barahona for their tireless efforts in supporting this historic cattle buying mission.
Source: American Brahman Breeders Association