Contagious ovine rinderpest virus reported in Bulgaria, by Turkey border

Contagious ovine rinderpest virus reported in Bulgaria, by Turkey border

SOFIA - Reuters

Bulgaria reported on July 19 another case of the highly contagious Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) close to the border with Turkey.

The virus, which can infect up to 90 percent of an animal heard but does not infect humans, was found in the small town of Bolyarovo, the Bulgarian food and safety agency said.

It was found in a flock, owned by a relative of a farmer in a village where an outbreak was previously found, it added.

It imposed a quarantine zone around Bolyarovo and ordered blood checks on small livestock in a 10 km radius.

Hundreds of farmers from around Bulgaria protested in the capital Sofia on Wednesday against the government-ordered mass slaughter of livestock following the first outbreak in the

European Union of the highly contagious disease, also known as ovine rinderpest or sheep and goat plague.

Bulgarians also expressed outrage on social networks, saying the situation could have been dealt with through quarantining.

It has also been alleged that in some cases, the culling took place before laboratory test results.

A few hours after the protests Prime Minister Boyko Borissov sacked Deputy Agriculture Minister Tsvetan Dimitrov and several other officials in the ministry over the handling of the outbreak.

Authorities have already slaughtered more than 4,000 animals in order to prevent the further spread of the disease and avert a European Union ban on Bulgarian milk and dairy exports.