Bulgaria Slaughters Cattle Infected with Foot-And Mouth Disease

Bulgaria's veterinary service on Monday ordered the slaughter of all cattle in a village close to the country's southeast border with Turkey after cases of foot-and-mouth disease were confirmed there.

More than 500 animals in the mountain village of Kosti are to be destroyed after 37 tested positive for foot-and-mouth disease, the national veterinary service said in a statement.

The highly contagious disease was first detected in a wild boar hunted down near the village on December 30 and, as a result, more than 1,600 animals -- sheep, goats, cows and pigs -- were tested in Kosti and the surrounding region.

Already last week, the authorities banned the trading in live domestic cattle in a number of southeastern regions in order to prevent the spread of the disease, which is rarely transmitted to humans but easily infects cloven-hoofed animals.

This is the first case of foot-and-mouth disease in Bulgaria in 12 years, and the farming ministry said the infected wild boar most probably entered Bulgaria from Turkey.

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