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Regional Sheep Vaccination Attempts to Halt Bluetongue in Turkey

03 September 2014

TURKEY - Turkish efforts to stop Bluetongue in sheep have led to mass vaccinations as the disease sweeps northwards across the Balkans.

A total of 332,300 sheep have been treated this month in Turkey’s western district of Kirklarelli, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reported yesterday.

Last month government efforts saw 30,000 Turkish sheep vaccinated in the region, which borders already infected Bulgaria and Greece.

The outbreaks are part of a Bluetongue resurgence commencing in September last year in north western Lazio with Greece reporting outbreak in May 2014.

Earlier this summer, veterinarians dealt with Greek and Italian outbreaks before notifications were sent from Bulgaria and Macedonia in July.

Turkey’s outbreak was confirmed on 11 August with Romania succumbing within a fortnight.

Initially, four fatal cases were reported on an Italian sheep farm at Montaldo di Castro followed by cases extending to cattle and goats as the disease spread northwards and south as far as Calabria.

Greek farms then began reporting cases from 29 May this year, mainly in the southern district of Peloponnisos, where the disease is rife.

Macedonia is the other country to be hit, where the disease has spread from the initial outbreak in the eastern town of Rusinovo right across to the western border, dangerously close to Albania.

In Romania, the disease is well established, moving east and west, closing in on Moldovan and Serbian borders.

Photo of extensively crusted nasal mucosa due to bluetongue courtesy of the University of Wyoming

Michael Priestley

Michael Priestley
News Team - Editor

Mainly production and market stories on ruminants sector. Works closely with sustainability consultants at FAI Farms.

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