All livestock and animal transporters entering Spain and the Balearics now have to be disinfected in accordance with the government's bid to prevent a further outbreak of the Blue Tongue virus which last year claimed the lives of thousands of sheep in Minorca and Majorca. The preventative measures, announced yesterday by the Agriculture Ministry in Madrid, are similar to the foot-and-mouth controls introduced earlier this year at all ports of entry in Spain and the Balearics. However, the Blue Tongue controls only apply to livestock and animal transporters. Although the Minorca and Majorca outbreak was eventually eradicated by teams of vets, there is apparently growing concern in the European Union after a number of isolated outbreaks have been reported recently in several member states. The “exotic” virus is transmitted by insects and the local agricultural authorities are still unsure of where the Balearic outbreak originated from.

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