Bulgaria slaughters 1,800 head of livestock after PPR outbreak

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgarian authorities said on Wednesday they had slaughtered 1,800 animals following the first outbreak in the European Union of the highly contagious Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR).

Last month the Balkan state reported the outbreak of the disease, also known as ovine rinderpest or sheep and goat plague, on livestock farms in the village of Voden in the southeast, near the border with Turkey.

"A total of 1,800 animals were euthanized," Agriculture Minister Rumen Porozhanov told parliament, adding three more samples from farms in the southeastern region of Yambol tested positive for PPR on Monday.

Porozhanov said that border controls should be tightened to control the disease.

Once introduced, the virus can infect up to 90 percent of an animal heard. The virus does not infect humans.

Authorities have imposed a quarantine zone around three villages and ordered blood checks on small livestock within 10-km off the outbreak.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov, editing by David Evans)

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