European countries prepare for emerging cattle disease

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Pastoralists and their cattle. Photo: IRIN/Gwenn Dubourthoumieu (file)

European countries are preparing to battle an emerging cattle disease with the help of the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA.

Over 30 experts will be trained at the UN agency's laboratories on how to use nuclear-derived techniques which can detect the virus within three hours and help trace its origin and spread.

Jocelyne Sambira has more.

Lumpy skin disease is a highly infectious cowpox virus that is spreading through herds on the European continent.

The virus is transmitted through direct contact with infected animals and contaminated products, as well as through flies and ticks.

The disease does not pose a danger to humans, but can spread between animals and farms, causing severe economic losses.

With a cattle herd of around 87 million heads, the European Union would be severely affected by widespread outbreaks of the disease.

Traditionally common to Africa and Asia, lumpy skin disease emerged in Turkey in 2013 and has since spread rapidly through south-eastern Europe.

It has been detected to date in six European countries namely Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Albania and Montenegro.

New cases are being reported weekly, the IAEA confirmed.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 59''

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