Bluetongue security zone widened again

23rd August 2007, Comments 0 comments

23 August 2007, THE HAGUE (AFP) - Dutch authorities have extended a security zone to cover the entire Netherlands following the discovery of new cases of the deadly blue tongue virus in sheep, the agriculture ministry said Wednesday.

23 August 2007

THE HAGUE (AFP) - Dutch authorities have extended a security zone to cover the entire Netherlands following the discovery of new cases of the deadly blue tongue virus in sheep, the agriculture ministry said Wednesday.

The move came a day after the security zone was widened to cover two-thirds of the nation. On Wednesday another new case of blue tongue was discovered in the northern province of Friesland. The total of reported cases of the disease in the Netherlands now stands at 336.

Exports of ruminants - sheep, cows and goats - are banned from the Netherlands except if an importing country permits them after carrying out individual health checks. Germany and France have refused to import any animal from the security zone.

The disease has hit livestock in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and northern France in the past year after previously being confined to countries on the Mediterranean basin.

It causes high fevers, swollen heads and a tell-tale blue tongue in sheep. It can be transmitted to cows and goats without causing sickness, but poses no risk of being transmitted to humans.

[Copyright AFP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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