Outbreaks of bluetongue continue to slow in France

While Bluetongue outbreaks have slowed in France, they are still continuing with the latest case in the south of the country.

In the latest case, 11 cattle were found to be susceptible to the disease and the outbreak is continuing, the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) has said.

As with previous cases of bluetongue, movement controls have been put in place in the country by the French authorities.

A total of 290 outbreaks of the strain of the disease have been reported to OIE, with the last outbreak before this latest case involving a day old calf in southern France.

Currently, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has said that its risk level of the disease hitting the UK remains the same at medium for this time of year.

However, if daily average temperatures increase in mainland France and the disease starts to circulate towards the north or northeast of the country, DEFRA’s risk level will start to increase.

Earlier this year, the Belgian Authorities made available 2.1m doses of BTV-8 vaccine in April, with a further 1.4m doses for cattle and 300,000 for sheep in June and then 1.4m for cattle in July, according to DEFRA.

In Germany the situation depends upon the individual State, however it said that in general several vaccines for BTV-8 are available and producers may vaccinate animals with any approved vaccine on the basis of an FLI risk assessment and provided the authorities are notified.

Spain has been vaccinating in the area south of Pyrenees bordering France, where there are an estimated 1m cattle and 2m small ruminants, the Ministerio de Agricultura there said this year.

DEFRA will continue to monitor the current situation in France and the decision to vaccinate, which farmers can avail of, should be with the farmer, in consultation with their private veterinary surgeon.