Killeen Warns Against Importing Animals From Bluetongue Affected Regions
Mr. Tony Killeen T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, has urged Clare farmers not to import animals from regions most recently affected by outbreaks of the bluetongue (BTV6) virus in cattle.
[ClickPress, Mon Nov 03 2008] The Minister’s comments follow the confirmation of bluetongue (BTV6) in cattle on farms in the Netherlands.
According to Minister Killeen, “While there are strict movement controls in the Netherlands and in part of Germany as a result of these latest cases and movements from other bluetongue restricted zones are also subject to controls, the existence of several strains of bluetongue raises serious concerns about the wisdom of importing any animals from affected regions at this time.”
The Junior Agriculture Minister explained that the bluetongue serotype BTV6 had not been reported previously in the EU and was not known to be present in Europe or in surrounding areas.
“These cases and the ongoing confirmation of other strains – particularly BTV1 in France and BTV8 in several member states – mean that there are a number of strains of the bluetongue virus in member states. The information available from the Community Reference Laboratory is that the virus isolated is most likely to be a vaccinal strain of BTV6 virus and it bears a strong resemblance to a live attenuated bluetongue vaccine that is produced in South Africa for administration to sheep. The vaccine is not approved for use in the Community”, Minister Killeen concluded.
Notes to Editor:
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