• • • France begins vaccinating cows, sheep against anthrax
The eastern French region of Hautes-Alpes said on September 17 it has begun vaccinating cows and sheep against anthrax after an outbreak of the fatal disease in the region. Vaccination doses for 5,000 cows and 10,000 sheep have been rushed to the area to tackle the worst anthrax outbreak in France in nearly 20 years. Anthrax has been detected in 23 locations, local authorities said in a statement, with 54 animals killed, mainly bovines.
Hautes-Alpes official Serge Cavalli said animals were being vaccinated at the region’s affected farms, which have been banned from production for at least 21 days. This to disinfect the farms and provide time for the vaccinated animals to become immune. Any milk on site is pasteurised and then destroyed.
The last serious French outbreak was in 2008 when anthrax spread to 23 farms, most of them in the eastern Doubs area. The first case in the current outbreak was detected in the village of Montgardin on 28 June, killing six cows. It has since spread to 12 other rural towns.