In Spain, hundreds of cows have died in recent weeks from an epizootic hemorrhagic disease EHD. This contagious cow fever is related to bluetongue, a viral disease in cattle that has been spreading throughout Spain for months. It also affects wildlife, especially deer and roe deer.
In recent days, new outbreaks have been discovered in cows on two farms in Galicia, the Europa Press news agency reports. To prevent further spread, the Ministry of Agriculture has introduced restrictions on the transport of farm animals in almost all provinces.
According to the ministry, EHD is not transmitted to humans and does not affect the quality of cow meat and milk, but it means serious losses for breeders who have to slaughter infected cattle. There is no approved vaccine against EHD in Europe.
The virus is transmitted by biting mosquitoes. It mainly occurs during periods of drought, when water sources virtually dry up and warm reservoirs are formed. An agricultural engineer said in El Païs that about thirty dead animals are currently collected per day. 'It's like Covid, it affects every animal differently. We've never seen anything like it."
EHD is common in America and has been circulating in North Africa for years. In Spain, the first case was registered in November last year. According to experts, after the first wave, agricultural livestock will develop immunity, as with any new viral disease. According to data from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, the mortality rate did not exceed 4% last summer.