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Kazakhstan bans livestock imports from EU

(Xinhua)

09:55, March 08, 2012

ASTANA, March 7 (Xinhua) -- The Agriculture Ministry said Wednesday that it has temporarily banned livestock imports from four European countries following a Schmallenberg virus outbreak.

Kazakhstan from last month suspended cattle imports from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and France after numerous outbreaks of the virus were detected there, the ministry said.

The ministry said the disease was reported on 240 cattle farms in the Netherlands, 126 in Belgium, 22 in Germany, four in Britain and several in the French province of Lorraine.

The virus, named after the German city where it was first identified in August 2011, is spread by blood-sucking insects. It could cause fever, gastrointestinal disorder, a sharp drop of milk production and miscarriages in livestock.

The virus is at the origin of an emerging animal disease that was found first in several Western European countries in the second half of 2011.

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