Italy Farmers Urge Tighter Controls on French Cattle

ITALY - Italian farmers urged the government on Monday to step up measures to protect the domestic cattle market from the spread of bluetongue after Italy has banned import of non-vaccinated cattle from France.
calendar icon 11 March 2008
clock icon 1 minute read
Italy's health ministry has banned from March 4 imports of live non-vaccinated cattle from France earmarked for rearing in Italy as well as transit of non-vaccinated animals through Italy's territory if it involved stops.

But Italy's biggest farmers association Coldiretti said in a statement that imports of French non-vaccinated cattle intended to be butchered in Italy should also be blocked.

"It would be a crime not to do everything to protect our domestic market," Coldiretti's veterinary expert Giorgio Apostoli told Reuters. Italy had managed to stop the spread of the virus from its southern regions a few years ago, he said.

Bluetongue, the virus that ravaged northern Europe's cattle and sheep in 2007, does not affect humans and there is no risk of contracting it by consuming milk or meat from infected animals.

Source: Reuters UK
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