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Bluetongue crisis ravaged northern Europe

03 October 2007

EU - When Germany confirmed its first case of bluetongue last year it proved to be the beginning of a massive animal health crisis on the Continent.

Despite the immediate lock-down of infected animals after the initial outbreak in August last year, a further 7,000 cases have since been declared.

According to the German government, the cases have been split almost evenly between sheep and cows.

The northern European outbreak is thought to have begun in the Netherlands, near the border with Belgium and Germany. Within days it had crossed those frontiers to infect neighbouring herds.

Now it is established well inside Germany's borders, where draconian movement restrictions are still in force. The country has adapted its swine fever database to track the spread of the disease.

But new cases continue to emerge, and while not as serious as foot and mouth, thousands of animals are believed to have died as a result. This summer, bluetongue outbreaks have ravaged herds and flocks.

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Source: Telegraph


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