Feb 8, 2023
Spain Region Puts Farms Under Quarantine to Curb Sheep Smallpox
(Bloomberg) -- Spain’s Castilla-La Mancha region placed sheep and goat farms in four of its five provinces under quarantine to curb an outbreak of strains of smallpox affecting the animals.
The measure prevents animals from leaving farms, unless they’re being taken for slaughter, the regional government said in a statement on its website. The order won’t disrupt milk deliveries to cheese factories in the area.
Last year, Castilla-La Mancha, which borders the Madrid region, allocated €4 million ($4.3 million) in aid to affected farmers and is now preparing additional measures to support them.
European countries have been grappling with a spate of recent outbreaks of animal disease. African swine fever was detected in Germany and in wild boar in Italy’s northwest, where it led to a ban of truffle hunts in the region, as well as to a halt of China’s pork imports from the Mediterreanean country and North Macedonia. In the UK, veterinary authorities ordered chickens and hens to be kept indoors until the country’s worst-ever bird flu outbreak abates further.
The quarantine order in Castilla-La Mancha affects 6,000 farms and about 3.5 million sheep and has already led to the culling of about 40,000 animals, according to El País newspaper.
The regional director of agriculture said the disease couldn’t be passed on to humans, according to the daily. A spokesperson for the department wasn’t immediately available for comment when contacted by Bloomberg.
The outbreak, detected last year, has also affected farms in the region of Andalusia, which in December lifted the restrictions on the marketing of sheep and goat products it had ordered in two provinces.
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