October 14, 2004, as reported by just-food.com: The European
Union is banning all exports of live cattle, goats and
sheep from south Spain after the bluetongue virus was
detected in a number of sentinel cattle.
The cattle, from the Municipality of Jimena de la Frontera
in the Province of Cadiz, tested positive for the highly
contagious viral disease. Bluetongue affects domestic
and wild ruminants and is transmitted by insects. It
is not know to affect humans.
The ban, a safeguard put in place by the European Commission,
also includes the semen, embryos and ova of bluetongue
susceptible species (sheep, goats, cattle and wild ruminants)
and effects the following provinces in Spain: Cadiz,
Malaga, Sevilla and parts of the Provinces Huelva (comarca
de La Palma del Condado et de Ayamonte), Cordoba (comarca
de Lucena, de Montilla et de Posada) and Granada (comarca
de la Alhama de Granada et de Loja).
The disease was detected using a bluetongue surveillance
system on October 13. The Commission decision and the
disease situation will be reviewed at the meeting of
the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal
Heath on October 19, 2004.