Dutch farms struggling with bluetongue virus, government says

Up to 600 Dutch farms might already be contaminated
calendar icon 2 October 2023
clock icon 1 minute read

Hundreds of farms in the Netherlands are grappling with an outbreak of the bluetongue virus in a setback for the country's farming industry, Reuters reported, citing the Dutch government.

Up to 600 Dutch farms might already be contaminated, Agriculture Minister Piet Adema told Dutch news agency ANP, after the first four cases of the highly infectious animal disease since 2009 were reported this month.

Bluetongue causes fever and mouth ulcers and in some cases turns an animal’s tongue blue. It is transmitted by insects such as midges and can be highly dangerous to sheep and cows, although it does not affect humans.

Adema said there was no vaccine available yet for the current strain of bluetongue.

The outbreak will limit the export of cows and sheep from the Netherlands as animals will need to be tested or quarantined, the government said earlier this month.

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