Bluetongue virus hits France

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

The origin of the disease remains unknown
The origin of the disease remains unknown

Related tags France

French authorities have reported a case of bluetongue BTV-4 in a bovine in the Haute Savoie region.

The animal in question was a 15-day-old veal calf which had been born in the Haute Savoie and then moved to a fattening farm in Allier region, via an assembly centre in the Loire region, where testing was carried out, prior to being moved to Spain. The animals at the fattening farm are also being tested.

The animal in question tested positive for the virus under the framework of pre-movement testing and has been humanely destroyed.

The origin of the disease is not known, although BTV-4 has been circulating at high levels on the islands of Corsica and Sardinia this year and was present earlier in the year in north-east Italy. Vaccination is mandatory on Corsica, particularly for any animals that leave the restriction zone. The cases in NE Italy were likely a result of spread from the neighbouring countries in the Balkans and the south-east region of Europe, where the disease has circulated widely in previous years.

Surveillance around the infected calf’s place of origin is being carried out, and disease control measures are in place around the holding of origin, including surveillance and mandatory vaccination in the surrounding 20-kilometre control and 100km prevention zones and surveillance in the additional 50km surveillance zone.

The location of the holding of origin is close to the Italian and Swiss borders, and the respective authorities in each country have been notified, as the zones also cover part of their territory.

The last time this variant of Bluetongue​ was confirmed in the region was in 2014.

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