EU imposes livestock ban on southern Spain

October 14, 2004, as reported by 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.