Expatica news

Sheep plague hits Morocco, threatens S Europe

9 September 2008

GENEVA — The UN Food and Agriculture Agency says a highly contagious sheep and goat plague has hit Morocco and could spread to southern Europe.

Agency spokeswoman Teresa Buerkle says the outbreak has reached 29 Moroccan provinces and has largely affected sheep.

She says the viral disease is known by its French name peste des petits ruminants (small ruminants’ plague), or PPR.

The disease is closely related to cattle plague and is transmitted to goats, sheep and wild small ruminants through close contact between animals.

Buerkle says it poses no risk to human health.

She told a UN briefing Tuesday that there is a concern PPR could reach southern Europe because of the close trade Morocco has with countries including Spain.

[AP / Expatica]