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Bluetongue Virus Identified in Bulgarian Wildlife

25 November 2014

EUROPE – Wild animals have become infected with Bluetongue in Bulgaria, resulting in deaths to deer and wild sheep.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reports 25 fatalities in Mouflon – a wild mountain sheep – and one Western Roe Deer in the south west of the country.

A red deer population of 20 head is at risk from the outbreak in Pazardzik.

Mouflon cases are slightly further north east in Plovdiv.

No other confirmed cases of live animals have been reported, although 183 wild animals are classed as “susceptible”.

This comes as the virus continues to cover the Balkan regions through November.

Eleven countries have been confirmed positive, with Turkey summoning a major vaccination campaign to halt the spread from the west. 

The virus strain, serotype one, has been confirmed elsewhere in Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzogovina , Hungary, Montenegro and Croatia. 

In northern Bulgaria, 317 sheep fatalities have been confirmed.

Greece, where the virus spread from this summer, has seen a further 15,000 sheep die over the month of November.

Case fatality for sheep and goats was 46 per cent and 43 per cent respectively.

Mortality rates stand at 6.7 per cent for Sheep, according to the OIE’s latest update.

Around 400 more animals have died in Macedonia, mostly in northern and northern eastern regions, particularly Kriva Palanka.

Hungary has had fewer cases, eleven in cattle and two in sheep, focused to southern districts.

Italy Serotype One

A separate virus strain continues to plague Italian farmers, killing a further 177 sheep this month.

Serotype one of the virus has continued spreading east, from its initial stronghold on the western half of Italy to engulf many east coast districts.

Lazio, Calabria, Campania, Puglia and Molise all had multiple cases.

In the north, Emilia Romagna was confirmed with the virus, although the extreme northern regions have remained infection free, according to OIE updates.

First cases appeared in Lazio in October 2013 on a west coast holding.

Vaccination procedures are to be applied in response to the latest outbreaks.

Further Reading

You can visit our Bluetongue information page by clicking here.

Michael Priestley

Michael Priestley
News Team - Editor

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


Top image via Shutterstock

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