Dutch sheep contaminated by bluetongue

Thursday, August 17, 2006

In the southern part of the Dutch province of Limburg there has been an outbreak of bluetongue according to a statement of the Ministry of Agriculture. This disease is dangerous for sheep. Sheep who are infected by the disease would get a blue tongue, high fever and a swollen head. The disease may also cause death for them. For many other animals and for humans the disease isn't dangerous. It is the first time that this disease has been spotted in the Netherlands. Usually this disease can only be found in the countries of the Mediterranean.

Source of contamination, Kerkrade

To combat the disease, the Dutch authorities have forbidden exports of animals such as sheep, goats and cows. In the surrounding 20 kilometers of the source of the outbreak it is forbidden to transport animals; the animals have to be stabled and insecticides are obliged. Furthermore, an area of protection of 150 kilometers has been arranged which these animals are not allowed to leave.