Bluetongue situation in the EU countries
The Commission carries out continuous monitoring of the evolution of bluetongue and takes actions when appropriate to minimise the impact of the disease in the EU. This video shows the BT outbreaks in the last decade.
All presentations given during the meetings of the Standing Committee on the former Food Chain and Animal Health can be found here.
Control measures established by the EU countries
Council Directive 2000/75/EC lays down specific provisions for the control and eradication of Bluetongue. The measures to control and eradicate the disease include vectors control, (use of insecticides in the animal premises and in the areas where these insects live, insect repellents onto animals, mosquitoes nets, etc.), restriction to movements of live ruminants from affected areas to non-infected regions where the vector is present and the use of vaccines.
Implementation measures of Directive 2000/75/EC are established on Commission Regulation (EC) No 1266/2007. This Commission Regulation provides for a more sustainable strategy for the control and eradication of Bluetongue, including the conditions for exemptions for the exit ban applicable to movements of susceptible animals and their semen, ova and embryos.
For all aspects regarding Bluetongue, please refer to the information below:
Description of the disease
Bluetongue is a non-contagious, insect-transmitted, viral disease of domestic and wild ruminants. It is not known to affect humans.
Disease characteristics - The disease is characterised by inflammation of the mucous membranes, congestion, swelling and haemorrhages. Sheep are generally the worst affected, while cattle and goats do not usually show any clinical signs of disease and can carry the virus for a certain period of time and transmit it to other ruminants.
Transmission - Via bite of certain species of Culicoides midges, which are biological vectors. It is not transmitted by direct or indirect contact between animals in the absence of the insects.
Sources of virus - Infected Culicoides.
Occurrence - The virus is present in a broad band of countries extending approximately between 40°N and 35°S. The bluetongue virus has been shown by serology to be present in regions where the Culicoides is present (e.g. Africa, the Americas, Australia, the Middle East and some countries of southern Asia and Oceania).
Bluetongue situation in the EU has considerably changed in recent times with incursions of new serotypes, namely of serotype 8 (in an area of the EU where outbreaks have never been reported before and which was not considered at risk of bluetongue) and also of serotype 1 of that virus on southern Europe.
Bluetongue can cause spectacular disease outbreaks and is an OIE listed disease.