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UPDATE 2-Brazil’s Santos port to suspend shipments of live animals

(New throughout, adds confirmation, comments from port
authority and Minerva)

SAO PAULO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - The company that operates
Latin America's largest port in the Brazilian city of Santos
said on Friday it will suspend shipments of live animals.

The company detailed its decision in a letter seen by
Reuters that was sent by state-run Companhia Docas do Estado de
São Paulo to a congressman. A press officer at Codesp, as the
state-run operator is known, said the letter was authentic.
Later, the company sent a statement confirming the suspension.

The statement said that kind of operation is under
evaluation by Brazilian regulators and that it would wait for
their word about it before possible reconsideration of the
suspension.

Santos resumed shipments of live animals in December 2017,
when 27,000 cows were sent overseas through the port, a Codesp
spokesman said. Before that, only a consignment of live
ostriches had passed through Santos in 1996, he said.

The Codesp letter said it supports environmental and
socially responsible practices and does not condone any
"disrespect of animal life."

The 27,000 calves were shipped to Turkey last year and
belonged to Brazilian meatpacker Minerva SA, a
spokeswoman told Reuters on Friday. The company could not
immediately make additional comments on the ban.

Minerva said on Friday the activity of shipping live animals
is approved by the country's Agriculture Ministry and has been
performed through several ports in the country. It said Brazil
shipped more than 400,000 live animals last year.

The letter was signed by Codesp’s logistics operations
director Carlos Henrique Poço and sent to Congressman Ricardo
Izar. It provided no details on the timing of the suspension.
(Reporting by Ana Mano and Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by David
Gregorio)

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