Hopes that the dreaded blue tongue disease may have been prevented from becoming an outbreak by killing the pet highland cows in which it was originally doagnosed have been dashed by new findings that the disease is already passing between cattle and biting insects.
Previous post: what is bluetongue disease?
Farmers were plunged into a new crisis last night after the Government confirmed that deadly bluetongue disease was circulating in cattle and insects.
Tests have shown that the virus – which has killed millions of animals in Europe – is being transmitted by native midges and may never be eradicated from the country.
Deputy chief vet Fred Landeg, declaring an official outbreak, said “a significant number of animals” would be hit.
However, he ruled out culling infected sheep and cattle and said there were no health reasons why infected animals should not be sold for meat.
It is important that farmers are not given wrong information. Some repellants for mosquitoes actually attract midges.
and that’s evidenced:
The bluetongue situation has been under reported internationally but there are known to be well over 20,000 cases so far, broken down into
10,348 cases in Germany yesterday
2,246 cases according to the French Agriculture Ministry
The worry now is that with these figures, bluetongue disease may become endemic in Northern Europe as it is seasonally in Southern Europe and perpetually on the African continent.