The disease, which causes fever and mouth ulcers and in some cases turns the animal's tongue blue, broke out two weeks ago.
Bluetongue is transmitted by insects and can be highly dangerous to sheep. It does not affect humans.
The spread of the virus means a total of about 440 Dutch farms have
now been affected. A ministry spokesman said transport restrictions and
limits on pesticide use had been extended to the newly affected areas.
Bluetongue occurs sporadically in Mediterranean countries but last
year there were also cases in northern Europe, including the
But the BBC tells us that The Dutch Government has banned all exports of live
sheep, cattle and goats after a farm tested positive for the harmful
Officials have also introduced movement restrictions covering a 170km radius around the affected farm in Kerkrade.
A spokesman for the UK's Department for Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said officials were monitoring
developments in the Netherlands.
He said that the department would issue advice to UK farmers if it was necessary, but no action was needed at this stage.
This from Defra
New outbreaks of bluetongue have now been confirmed in Germany and
Belgium within the existing restriction zones. These outbreaks appear
to confirm that bluetongue virus had ‘overwintered’ successfully.
Imports of BT susceptible animals to the UK from Belgium and Germany
are not permitted.
Map: Bluetongue BTV-8 in Europe, April to July 2007 (825 KB)
Testing on samples from the Netherlands has shown they carried the
serotype 8 form of the virus, not previously seen in Europe. More
information is available from the Institute of Animal
Animal keepers should remain vigilant for the clinical
signs of the disease in sheep and cattle, and as ever practice good
biosecurity. Bluetongue is a notifiable disease and must be reported to
Still cant trust the BBC to report anything about Europe honestly, (and notice how they just had to put in the extra line about global warming being responsible), it seems we have to go to Australia to find out what's really happening in Europe these days….
The Pirbright Laboratory (near Guildford, Surrey, UK) of
the Institute for Animal Health contains world and regional laboratories for
many major diseases of farm animals. The viruses studied at Pirbright do not
commonly infect animals in the UK, though they are potentially devastating when
they do. Bearing in mind that the Bio-security at Pirbright is now under scrutiny, if we get any outbreaks in the UK of the diseases listed below, we know where to come looking.
Pirbright Laboratory contains nine reference laboratories on behalf of
various international agencies:
World Reference Laboratory of the UN’s Food and Agriculture
Regional Reference Laboratory of the OIE (World
Organisation for Animal Health
Community Reference Laboratory of the EU
Each reference laboratory specialises in one type of
virus. A reference laboratory maintains a collection of viruses and related
reagents, and provides a diagnostic service.
Bluetongue: OIE, EU
African swine fever: OIE
African horse sickness: OIE, EU
Foot-and-mouth disease: FAO, OIE, EU
Swine vesicular disease: OIE, EU
Lumpy skin disease: OIE
Sheep and goat pox: IE
Peste de petits ruminants: FAO, OIE
Rinderpest: FAO, EU