Voles threaten crops in Spain

8th August 2007, Comments 0 comments

8 August 2007, MADRID (DPA) - Dozens of residents of the northern Spanish region of Castile and Leon have fallen ill with tularaemia, a disease spread by hundreds of millions of voles which are threatening crops in the region, the daily El Pais reported on Wednesday.

8 August 2007

MADRID (DPA) - Dozens of residents of the northern Spanish region of Castile and Leon have fallen ill with tularaemia, a disease spread by hundreds of millions of voles which are threatening crops in the region, the daily El Pais reported on Wednesday.

Officials have recognised 88 cases of tularaemia, but farmers said there were many more. The non-fatal disease causes fever, muscle pain and fatigue that can last even longer than a month.

The disease is caused by contact with voles, an estimated 750 million of which have invaded the region, destroying lettuce, potato and barley crops and now even vineyards.

The rodent was formerly confined to mountain areas, but fields which were brought under irrigation in the late 1970s are believed to have drawn it to the central plain in search of food.

The authorities have tried to fight the plague by destroying burrows, with the limited use of poison and with controlled fires on dry land. Farmers regard the measures as insufficient.

(Copyright DPA with Expatica 2007)

Subject: Spanish news

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