FRANCE – Livestock at risk from bluetongue in central France is now in the thousands, according to latest reports of the costly virus infecting seventeen farms.
Almost 4,000 animals are “susceptible” now the virus has advanced into Pay De Dome and Creuse from its initial breakdown in Allier, the World Organisation for Animal Health has reported.
Cases remain closely clustered in the middle of the country, where vaccination efforts, scheduled to start yesterday, have promised to deliver 1.3 million vaccine doses.
Both sheep and cattle have been infected, with three cases in sheep and 42 cases in cattle, including a herd of 825 cattle in Ygrande.
Containment efforts have imposed a 150 kilometre protection zone around the initial outbreak.
The zone covered 21 departments, covering 4.6 million cattle, 700,000 sheep and 160,000 goats.
Speaking at a meeting of the National Steering Committee of Plant and Health Policy (CNOPSAV), French Agriculture minister Stephane Le Foll pledged “flawless” commitment to farmers already effected by the state of the markets and warned of the “significant economic impacts” BTV would have on farms.
All stock due to be exported must now be vaccinated, including those used for genetic exports. Two injections at three week intervals are needed for vaccinations.
Last week, European trade officials met to discuss trade relations confidence and conditions of exports.
Surveillance is under way inside and outside of containment zones as part of a raft of measures to control the virus.
You can visit our Bluetongue information page by clicking here.