Bluetongue virus spreads in Netherlands, Germany, Belgium

THE bluetongue virus, which affects sheep
and cows, has spread to the centre and east of the Netherlands,
affecting 117 farms in those areas, the Dutch Agriculture Ministry said

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
bluetongue virus.

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 Adobe acrobat pdf file (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
Health website

Animal keepers should remain vigilant for the clinical
of the disease in sheep and cattle, and as ever practice good
biosecurity. Bluetongue is a notifiable disease and must be reported to
your Division
Veterinary Manager

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
Organisation (FAO)

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

About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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