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.