Foot-and-mouth spreading in Bulgaria

A second outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease has been confirmed in Bulgaria, resulting in the slaughter of a further 200 animals.

Four cows in the south-eastern village of Rezovo are reported to have displayed disease symptoms, and were confirmed as positive this weekend, according to Bulgaria’s Focus news agency.

National veterinary service director Yordan Voynov said the slaughter would take place on 17 January. It is assumed the virus was transmitted by a small herd of wild buffaloes, which crossed from neighbouring Turkey into Bulgaria’s Burgas province.

A team of EU veterinary experts is believed to be on their way to the region to help control the outbreak.

Foot-and-mouth was first discovered among wild boar in the Burgas province at the beginning of January. Authorities last week ordered a cull of more than 530 animals in the village of Kosti, about 15 miles from Rezovo, after 37 domestic animals tested positive for foot-and-mouth.

Bulgarian officials had hoped the measures would halt the spread of the disease. Export bans on live animals have been introduced in several Bulgarian provinces, and in Burgas the trade of meat and milk products was also halted.

EU officials said these restrictions are expected to remain in force until the end of March. Under EU rules, compensation payments could cover up to 60% of the costs of the damage.

How do you spot foot-and-mouth disease? Read FWi’s special report.