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Germany: A case of bluetongue in cattle in Hesse

Niemcy: Przypadek choroby niebieskiego języka u bydła w Hesji

The animal disease was detected in a cow in Alsfeld, Vogelsberg district in Hesse. Tests at the State Laboratory in Giessen confirmed this case, Agrarheute reports. Hesse thus lost its status as a disease-free region.

Restrictions for breeders

This has direct consequences for cattle farmers. From now on, animals cannot be transported to other disease-free neighboring federal states or to other EU countries. Meanwhile, around 400,000 cattle and 165,000 sheep are kept in Hesse.

The Hessian authorities have approved vaccination of ruminants against bluetongue. The state provides farmers with a subsidy of two euros per dose of vaccine for sheep and three euros per dose of vaccine for cattle. To ensure effective protection of cattle through vaccination, two doses of the vaccine should be administered approximately three weeks apart. For sheep and goats, one vaccination is enough. Effective protection after vaccination is certain three weeks after the procedure.

Problem in several countries

In the Federal Republic of Germany, cases of bluetongue were detected not only in Hesse, previously cases were reported in North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Bremen and Rhineland-Palatinate.

Bluetongue disease affects ruminants – in addition to cattle, these also include sheep, goats and camelids. It is transmitted by biting insects living in pastures. The virus was detected in the Netherlands in October 2023, and since then cases of the disease have also occurred in Belgium and Germany.

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