Stop importing Paraguayan beef: Russian restaurants warned

September 11, 2014

The destruction of the Ayoreo’s forest for beef production threatens to wipe out the uncontacted Ayoreo-Totobiegosode. © Survival International, 2007

This page was created in 2014 and may contain language which is now outdated.

Russia’s top restaurants have been urged to stop using beef from Paraguay, to prevent the rapid destruction of the forest home of an uncontacted tribe by cattle ranchers.

Russia is the principal importer of beef from Paraguay. Brazilian ranching company Yaguarete Pora S.A. which exports to Russia, has repeatedly been captured on satellite imagery illegally bulldozing vast tracts of Paraguay’s Chaco forest.

The Chaco is home to the uncontacted Ayoreo-Totobiegosode tribe, one of the most vulnerable societies on the planet. The Indians rely on the forest for their survival, but according to a recent study by the University of Maryland, the Chaco has the highest rate of deforestation in the world.*

If contact between ranch workers and members of the tribe occurs, uncontacted Ayoreo could be wiped out by diseases like flu and measles to which they have no resistance. Like all uncontacted tribal peoples, the Ayoreo face catastrophe unless their land is protected.

Yaguarete Pora S.A. has refused to stop clearing the forest, despite being warned of the extreme danger its work poses to the lives of Paraguay’s most vulnerable citizens.

In June 2014 Survival launched an advertising campaign in Russia, warning consumers of the dangers the beef industry poses to the lives of uncontacted Ayoreo.

This week, top restaurants Bizon, Café Pushkin and Turandot, amongst others, have received letters asking them to stop using beef imported from Paraguay until the Paraguayan government upholds the Ayoreo’s right to their land.

Survival’s ad urges Russia to stop beef imports from Paraguay until the Ayoreo’s land is protected. © Survival International

Survival International’s Director Stephen Corry said today, “The genocide which annihilated North America’s tribes continues on its path of destruction. Entire peoples are being eradicated as industrialized society continues its fatal march forward, stealing the land and resources of Indians across South America and leaving death and disease in its wake. We have to act now if the Ayoreo aren’t to become the latest sacrifice to ‘progress’ and ‘civilization’.

*This is based on a study conducted by M.C Hansen et al (2013), titled, ‘High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change’. The study analysed satellite data from 2000 to 2012 and demonstrates that Paraguay had the highest net loss/area for that time period.