EUROPE – Two strains of the destructive Bluetongue Virus (BTV) are putting sheep and cattle at risk in central France and the Balkans.
The French outbreak, identified on August 21, is of the serotype eight strain, with outbreaks clustered around central France, while further east, Romania, Hungary and now Croatia have serotype four.
Last week, a further 2,258 animals were declared susceptible to the virus following a further 23 cases.
Initially just in Allier, the outbreak soon spread to Puy de Dome and Creuse, with last Friday’s World Organisation for Animal Health notification confirming the disease in Nievre and Cher.
The virus returned to a farm on the Croatian island of Vis last week, despite double vaccinations across the flock in 2015. Lying off the south coast of Croatia, Vis is the country’s largest island, hit by BTV last year.
Clinical signs were seen in an animal, which then died.
In Romania, the same serotype is circulating around the north east corner of the country, stretching from close to the Moldovan border to the east to the Ukrainian border in the north.
Two more outbreaks, each with one case, were confirmed last week.
Cattle are mainly affected, typically on small ‘backyard’ enterprises.
You can visit our Bluetongue information page by clicking here.