China bans imports of Iraq animals due to bluetongue disease

Animal News : China bans imports of Iraq animals due to bluetongue disease

China has banned the direct and indirect import of cows, sheep, and related products from Iraq due to an outbreak of bluetongue disease, the General Administration of Customs announced.

This decision follows a report from Iraq to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), which indicated the detection of bluetongue disease in sheep.

China has implemented similar bans on imports from the Netherlands and Belgium following outbreaks of the virus in those countries.

Bluetongue disease is characterized by symptoms such as fever, mouth ulcers, and sometimes a blue tongue discoloration. The disease poses a significant threat to cows and sheep.

Bluetongue disease

The disease is caused by the Bluetongue virus (BTV), which is transmitted to animals through the bite of infected mosquitoes. It is not contagious and cannot be transmitted directly from one animal to another; instead, it spreads through these insect carriers.

Bluetongue has been found in many parts of the world, affecting the health of domestic and wild sheep and cows.

While the disease can lead to severe outcomes in sheep, including high mortality rates, cows often exhibit milder symptoms but can act as reservoirs for the virus.

The spread of bluetongue disease is closely linked to the spread of mosquitos, climate conditions, and the transportation of farm animals.

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