Dutch ministers call for Q-fever animal slaughter

10th December 2009, Comments 0 comments

An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 goats and sheep in the Netherlands are to be slaughtered in connection with Q-fever.

Amsterdam--Minister of Health Ab Klink and Minister of Agriculture Gerda Verburg have agreed that on infected farms where animals have not been vaccinated, all pregnant animals must be slaughtered, whether or not they have the virus.

Q-fever is caused by bacteria (Coxiella burnetii) released when pregnant goats or sheep have spontaneous abortions. The disease is prevalent in areas in the southern Netherlands with large-scale goat farms and a relatively dense population.

This year alone 2,200 people have contracted it, most of them in the southern rural province of Brabant. At least six people have died.


Radio Netherlands/ Expatica

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