500 sheep have died from disease in Salento, Italy

After the olive trees, it is the turn of the sheep: a strain of the most violent “bluetongue small ruminant”, known as “blue tongue”, has already been sentenced to death in 500 head Leccese. The highest peak is expected in June and July, and the risk that the disease face buying up other livestock warns the entire livestock sector. The veterinarians of the ASL are ready to go with prophylaxis, but there is no availability of sera in Puglia. The reason? “We did two races for the purchase of 10 thousand vaccines, for an amount of EUR 400 thousand. Went both deserted. They did not forward any company and that worries me. Now we are waiting for the results of the third call, published on 11 February. We moved from the beginning. ” 
The Regional Minister for Health, Donato Pentassuglia, has a grudge, after the letter that Coldiretti sent to him and his colleague with responsibility for Agriculture, Fabrizio Nardoni. “An intervention unworthy, inappropriate and not very fair – says Pentassuglia – because I have met the leaders of the trade association at least twice, explaining all the way done, and I said after two hours, Friday afternoon, in that letter that you send us.” But for the president of Coldiretti Puglia, Gianni Cantele, “our farmers can no longer wait. Continue the count of dead animals, already amounted to more than 500 units only in the province of Lecce, and the risk that the number goes up gradually is a sad reality. ” 
Are at least sixteen, between suspects and ascertained cases found in Salento, especially in the central area, around Maglie, and Grecia. Other outbreaks were reported in the other provinces, at least three in Brindisi, Taranto two to five in Bari and Foggia in four, according to data of the national information system on “Bluetongue”. Only unscathed is the Bat, spared, for now, by the spread of “serotype 4”. This is, in fact, the flu strain that is creating more hardships: grafted into uncharted territory, found easy way for its development, exacerbating the symptoms of fever that so far this was yes, but in milder forms. To prevent the spread of the disease, this could lead to inhibit any movement of leaders interested in transhumance in the province of Foggia.
“The start of the vaccination campaign – said Angelo Corsetti, director of Coldiretti Puglia, in that letter – can not go beyond March, to prevent births of subjects disvitali and teratogenic effects during gestation. Thus, we ask what steps the departments of Health and Agri-Resources of the Puglia Region intend to pursue to compensate livestock farms damaged, with heavy losses in the number of animals raised, also in view of the difficult moment that lives the world of agriculture in the province of Lecce , already seriously affected by the pathogen from quarantine ‘Xylella fastidiosa’ ‘. 
The problem, in fact, is all in the time that is about to expire. It reiterates the document prepared by the reference center the Livestock Research Institute of Teramo on future scenarios of “Bluetongue”: the exhortations of the Ministry of Health with respect, in particular, to the provinces of Brindisi, Taranto and Lecce say that vaccination should cover at least 80 percent of the animals of susceptible species (cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats) present. And, for 2015, the campaign must be completed by April, and then be repeated for at least two or three years, with priorities for action on sheep subject to the movement and the residents of the areas bordering the provinces free . 
The Region is ready to put on the table up to 4 million euro for the prophylaxis and is already thinking about a plan B, in case the new call for tenders were to end up in a dead end. “We are in contact with other regions, such as Sardinia, which has quantities of vaccines beyond measure and still suitable. But since we are not a private individual, we must regulate the purchase by another public body. A bureaucratic issues to be solved in a short time. “
Courtesy of quotidianodipuglia.it

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