The situation of Bluetongue (BT) in the EU has changed dramatically since 2007. Several virus incursions from outside the EU (around 12) have caused major epidemic waves of disease with major losses in the sheep and also in the cattle sector. In the past only sporadic incursions of BT occurred in Europe, where the disease showed a tendency to naturally disappear, probably because the necessary climatic, environmental and entomological conditions to ensure virus spread and persistence did not occur.
In the past couple of years, the situation has further worsened with major spread of two different virus types; BTV-1 and BTV-8. In 2008 a large vaccination campaign was started all over the infected countries. This vaacination program was continued in 2009 and will be continued in 2010. As a consequence of these vaccination campaigns the amount of detected Bluetongue cases decreased very strongly.