Bluetongue virus appears: Sheep in particular can become sick or die

Bluetongue virus appears: Sheep in particular can become sick or die

Bluetongue virus has appeared in our county. A livestock farm in Al-Mukrak was affected by this matter. It is not known what company was involved and how many animals became infected with the disease. There is a possibility that animals may die because of it. People cannot become infected. The virus is transmitted by a small mosquito. “Sheep farmers in particular are really worried.”

Almkerke is the first place in Brabant where the virus was discovered. At the beginning of this month, flies struck several other sheep farms in Utrecht and the northern Netherlands. Since then, animals on more than four hundred livestock farms elsewhere in the country have been bitten by that mosquito, which last struck our country fifteen years ago.

“This contamination was in line with expectations.”

Janet van de Ven from the farmers’ organization LTO: “It was expected that Brabant would also get its turn. It was coming, given the pace of the spread of the virus. It is very annoying for the farmer to have to deal with.” This.” Van de Ven comes from Oerschot and works in animal health at the LTO. “I heard at the end of the afternoon that an infection had also been reported in Brabant, but I don’t yet know where exactly,” he added.

If the animal becomes infected, it eats poorly, becomes lethargic and lethargic, and sometimes stiff. They may also develop blisters or a blue tongue. “Although the latter phenomenon doesn’t happen very often,” says Van de Ven.

She says she is in close contact with members and administrators and, for example, with veterinary practices. “Unfortunately, we are receiving many reports of a high mortality rate among affected sheep,” says Van de Ven. “Sheep farmers in particular are very concerned, but we are also receiving more and more reports of cattle suffering from serious disease symptoms.”

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“It’s hard to put sheep away somewhere in a vacuum.”

She also says that sheep farmers find it very annoying because they can hardly prevent infection by flies. “It is difficult to store sheep somewhere in a vacuum. All you can do is bring them in on time, at the end of the afternoon. Above all, monitor the health of the flock. There is also no vaccine, although the LTO is in contact with the Ministry of Agriculture “And fish resources to obtain it from abroad if necessary. But that takes time.”

Symptoms in sick animals can be suppressed to some extent by painkillers or by allowing them to drink plenty of fluids. Animals infected with the virus do not pose a risk of transmitting the infection to other animals or people. This is why a transfer ban will never be announced once the virus is detected.

“You can assume that once one animal is bitten, such flies will strike more places in the company,” Van de Ven warns. Farmers are strongly advised to report infections. “Then we at least have an idea of ​​the spread.”

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