Bluetongue spreads to two other EU countries

There have been further outbreaks of Bluetongue in France and the disease has spread to Slovenia and Austria, according to latest reports.

Last week there was five new outbreaks of the disease in French cattle herds, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has said.

In the five herds, there were six cases of the disease and a total of 808 animals are susceptible to bluetongue.

Control measures have been put in place, such as movement control in the country, vaccination and zoning.

In Slovenia, there has been one outbreak of bluetongue in one herd, with two cases of the disease identified. A total of 42 cattle are susceptible.

According to the OIE, samples were taken in the frame of the national bluetongue monitoring programme and no clinical signs were observed in animals.

In Austria, there have been three outbreaks with four cases identified. Some 205 cattle are susceptible to the disease.

In September, the French Agricultural Ministry increased the number of vaccines available from 1.3m to 2.2m.

The ministry said that beyond the protection of infected flocks, priority would be given vaccination animals intended for trade and exports as well as breeding animals intended for breeding programmes breeds (cattle, sheep, goats).

In accordance with European regulations, management measures are implemented: restriction of movement of animals, regrouping ban, active surveillance and so on, the French government said at the time.

Domestic ruminants such as cattle, sheep and goats are susceptible to bluetongue and mainland France has been free from the disease since 2012.