(De Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – There is a shortage of 400 beef cattle a month. That is the reason why the Agriculture Ministry (LVV) has given permission to Caribbean Meat Processor (CMP) to import beef cattle from Para, Brazil. However, farmers organized in the Association of Surinamese Dairy Farmers (VSMB) fear that livestock diseases will also be imported to Suriname along with the cattle, and they want to stop this import with a petition. Edmund Rozenblad, head of LVV’s Veterinary Inspection, says, however, that the Brazilian state of Para has a certain status and is disease-free. The cattle farmers claim that LVV knows nothing and that Vice President Robert Ameerali, to whom they had turned to first, cannot help the sector. They will therefore request an audience with President Desi Bouterse to present the sector’s problems to him. This was said at a meeting of the farmers on the premises of the Henry Hassankhan School Community Saturday evening. The cattle count held last year showed there is a shortage of cows, because 1000 cows are slaughtered a month, and 400 of them are female. The government has stopped the slaughter of female cattle, so the shortage must be replenished. VSMB chairman Laurence Pereira now claims that the exact number of cattle per farmer was not reported out of fear of a higher tax levy. The Brazilian cattle are cheaper and will be imported duty-free.