By John Smith • 12 July 2021 • 17:41
Sheep in Valldemossa are vaccinated first
Credit: Balearic Government
WITH the first outbreak reported less than two weeks ago, Mallorca sees the first vaccinations against bluetongue disease this year.
The Balearic Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has launched the bluetongue vaccination campaign on Monday July 12 as animals from the Son Maixella estate, in Valldemossa were inoculated.
500,000 vaccines arrived on the island the previous Friday and this will be sufficient to vaccinate all of Mallorca’s registered livestock consisting of 208,000 sheep and 22,500 cattle.
Bluetongue which is spread by midges has been eradicated on the Spanish mainland and although it cannot be transmitted from animals to humans it is a very nasty disease which in sheep is characterised by fever, widespread haemorrhages of the oral and nasal tissue, excessive salivation, and nasal discharge.
In acute cases the lips and tongue become swollen and this swelling may extend below the lower jaw whilst in some cases the tongue does turn blue.
With cattle, it is not so dangerous to the animal as often there are few symptoms displayed but the danger is caused when midges continue to bite infected cattle and then settle of sheep.
All farmers who have registered livestock will see their animals vaccinated free of charge by haemorrhages veterinarians from the Agricultural and Fisheries Improvement Services (SEMILLA) and for those who have animals that are unregistered, inoculation is possible but at a small cost.
Happily, there is no danger to consumers from eating meat or drinking milk from infected animals.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
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