More than a million doses of a foot-and-mouth (FMD) vaccine are being shipped to Algeria and Tunisia after a new strain of the disease was discovered.

The European Commission sent emergency supplies of the vaccine as part of a campaign to control the spread of the disease, which was identified in cattle across several farms in the two countries last month.

Authorities were alerted to outbreaks across several regions of Tunisia, with cattle and sheep testing positive for the disease.

See also: Foot-and-mouth is knocking on Europe’s door

An outbreak at a fattening cattle farm in Algeria was confirmed last week (27 July) after the animals were imported illegally from Tunisia.

The commission is sending the vaccines in response to a request from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Organisation for Animal Health, who called for urgent help to supply a high-quality vaccine.

The vaccine, which is being formulated from EU antigen stocks, will be used to immunise cattle, sheep and goats across the regions.

The commission said it was supporting the eradication programme as the outbreak threatened the EU’s FMD-free status.

The EU does not allow imports of live susceptible animals from Algeria and Tunisia or any of their products, it added.