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Russia Bluetongue Threat, New Serotype

02 December 2011

RUSSIA - Cattle imported from Germany have tested positive for a new serotype of bluetongue, that has not yet being reported in central and northern parts of Russia.

Addressing cattle and beef importers, Nikolai Vlasov, Deputy Head of the Russian Veterinary Surveillance said that routine testing of imported cattle into Russia is compulsory.

According to preliminary date obtained from the Russian National Reference Centre for Bluetongue, it is very likely that it is a brand-new serotype that has never existed in the world and has emerged due to a wide spread of infection in Europe over the past years (mutation and following selection).

"If it is, then we are dealing with the virus with unknown characteristics (including unclear pathogenicity and epidemic potential)."

Mr Vlasov said that the virus and its characteristics would be studied further.

Germany had declared their country free from bluetongue.

It is likely that Russia will impose restrictions on the imports of cattle from Germany, and suspend previously issued permits for 2012.

Mr Vlasov said that the situation is complicated, as although the cattle came from Germany, there was a transit stop in Poland.

He said that the Department was still waiting for confirmation of this stop, but that it may be restrictions would be imposed on Poland too.

Finally, if the disease is confirmed, Mr Vlasov said that the imports of all potentially hazardous products from Germany would be suspended.

"If we get conclusive evidence that the declaration of the German National Veterinary Service about freedom from the highly dangerous disease is not sufficiently guaranteed, it puts the biosecurity of our country at risk."

TheCattleSite News Desk



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