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Bluetongue

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Bluetongue

Bluetongue* is a viral disease mainly found in sheep. An outbreak can spread quickly, causing death and disruption which can severely reduce the profitability of livestock production.

ACT

Council Directive 2000/75/EC of 20 November 2000 laying down specific provisions for the control and eradication of bluetongue

SUMMARY

WHAT DOES THE DIRECTIVE DO?

It and its subsequent amendments set out detailed measures to control and eradicate bluetongue disease, outlining procedures to be adopted in the event of an outbreak.

KEY POINTS

Suspected or confirmed cases of the bluetongue virus must be notified to the competent authority of the European Union (EU) country concerned before measures are implemented.

When a case of bluetongue is suspected, the veterinarian should place the flock under surveillance, carry out an inventory of the animals and premises, perform an epidemiological survey and institute a ban on movements, treating the animals with insecticide and disposing of any carcases.

If the disease is confirmed, these measures will be extended to all holdings* within a 20-km radius. In addition, a protection zone will extend over a radius of at least 100 km around the infected holding, where all animals must be identified and may not leave the zone. The authority must establish an epidemiological surveillance programme. A vaccination programme may also be set up within this zone.

A surveillance zone will extend for at least 50 km beyond the protection zone with the same measures for identification, restriction of movement and surveillance as the protection zone, but with a ban on vaccination. The zones may be extended or reduced depending on circumstances.

Vaccines are permitted based on a specific risk assessment and providing the European Commission is informed before it takes place. Some contribution towards costs can be made.

New inactivated vaccines have become available since the original directive was published, and their use during the 2008 and 2009 outbreaks led to significant improvement in the control of bluetongue. Inactivated vaccines are now preferred over the older live vaccines which carried some risk of spreading the virus.

WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?

From 22 December 2000.

KEY TERMS

* Bluetongue disease: a non-contagious, midge-borne viral disease of ruminants, mainly sheep. Symptoms include sores, lameness and reproductive problems. There is no effective treatment, affected animals can die within a few days and for those who survive, recovery can take several months. The disease is not a threat to humans.

* Holding: an agricultural or other establishment where animals of a species susceptible to bluetongue are permanently or temporarily reared or kept.

For more information, see bluetongue on the European Commission’s website.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2000/75/EC

22.12.2000

1.1.2002

OJ L 327 of 22.12.2000, pp. 74-83

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2008/73/EC

3.9.2008

1.1.2010

OJ L 219 of 14.8.2008, pp. 40-54

Directive 2012/5/EU

22.3.2012

23.9.2012

OJ L 81 of 21.3.2012, pp. 1-2

Directive 2013/20/EU

1.7.2013

1.7.2013

OJ L 158, 10.6.2013, pp. 234-239

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2000/75/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 06.08.2015

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