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Email Feb 23 2008

Dear Mary,
This article has been translated from Réussir Lait Elevage  February, 2008; N░211 Actualitiés, Regions.  The journal's title means Making a Success of Dairy Farming.
The article by C.P describes the findings of a report into the affects of the Blue Tongue serotype 8 in this region.  This report is pretty typical of what we are seeing elsewhere, including in Germany.
Réussir Lait Elevage is available by subscription from:  19 Quai de Juillet, B.P. 18, 14007 CAEN Cedex in French.

Half the Dairy Farms have been touched by the FCO (Blue Tongue).


In Moselle between 15 and 20% of the herds have been heavily attacked by the catarrhal sheep fever (Blue Tongue serotype 8) and the decline in the milk production, affected by the FCO (Blue Tongue) is estimated at 5%

In 2007 in Moselle, the impact of the FCO (Blue Tongue) has been very variable from one herd to another. "The first farm infected was 31st August 2007; And by 17th December, 2007 there were 1511 farms with the FCO (Blue Tongue), mader up of 1334 herds of cattle, 176 herds of sheep, and 1 herd of goats.  The dairy farms seemed to be worse affected than those with suckling cattle: 51% of the herds touched were dairy, 40% in suckling." (ie with beef cattle with calves at foot), indicated a report of the following the FCO (Blue Tongue) and its impacts in Moselle.
The report underligned that since the arrival of the catarrhal fever 5Blue Tongue) in Moselle, the mortality of cattle and sheep has been rising significantly.   In the period 27 August to 16th December 2007, the number of dead cattle by week has risen by about 22%. For the dead calves (between 0 and 180 days) , has risen by 27% in the period 27 August to the 9th December 2007, in comparison with the preceeding year. For the dead cows, it has risen by 37% in the same period.  The death rate is superior to 40% in the herds touched (by the Blue Tongue) compared to herds unaffected.  The dairy cattle had a rate of motality lightly more im¨portant than those of the suckling cows. "
Concerning the abortions in the cattle, these are multiplied by two in the period of the last week of August to the middle of November.  The length of gestation (calculated from echographs taken at 30-40 days) shows a large fall in October.

Sharp Fall in the level of Gestation.

For this month , 45% of cows inseminated are pregnant; in November, the number is in the order of 60%, while in a normal year it is in the order of 80%, information from the insemination centre at Plesnois shows.
The impact of the FCO (Blue Tongue) on the milk production is difficult to estimate, by reason of the loans of the quotas at the end of 2007 which have made the number of cows in milk production rise.  The information from the dairies does not permit to show in evidence a fall in the attacked herds against those that are presumed healthy.
"These results are in line with the information from the Vets and the dairies who announce that between 15% and 20% of the herds heavily attacked, show a reduction of 5% in the production of milk imputable to the FCO (Blue Tongue ) in Moselle". concludes the report.   CP
"Observations from following the FCO and its impacts in Moselle, by the DDAF, the DDSV, the GDS, the GTV, the Chambre of Agriculture in Moselle, the CIA at Plesnois, , the Sodiaal Co-operative....
Best wishes,
Susan Baekeland