Health Risks Threaten Spanish Toro Imports: Implications for French Ferias and Future Breeders

2023-09-19 17:43:00

Health problems threaten the importation of Spanish toros After Dax, St Gilles and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Nîmes had to find an urgent solution to replace the Garcigrande scheduled with the Victoriano del Rio for the farewell of El Juli and the Solalito alternative. A situation which could worsen in 2024.

The French Ferias have been disrupted since August by the incorrectly called “mosquito” disease. If the situation is not as worrying as for the “blue language” in 2006 when no Andalusian toro was able to cross the borders, the General Directorate of Food (DGA) has put in place restrictive protocols to prevent this disease which affects cattle via Arabi (small flies) bites is spreading.

The Union of French Bullfighting Towns (UVTF) alerted the organizers of the danger at the start of the season and encouraged them to anticipate urgent recourse options. Thus, the ganaderia of El Pilar replaced El Parralejo in Dax and Adolfo Martin in Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer and the Victoriano del Rio replaced, at short notice, the Garcia Jimenez in Saint-Gilles and the Garcigrande in Nîmes, this Sunday. Today, the bulls must take a PCR test eight days before their departure to France and the results arrive a few hours before their departure, forcing the organizers to adapt urgently in the event of positive tests.

Mosquitoes, the only vectors of transmission

This virus arrived from the United States and North Africa then crossed the border to affect Andalusian farms before spreading across a large part of the Spanish campo (Extremadura, Salamanca, etc.) and in Italy. A situation that revolts the iron representative of El Parralejo, the first victim of this protocol in France: “This disease is not transmitted from one bull to another because mosquitoes are the only vectors of transmission.”

The virus is spreading quickly and it is likely that the Madrid Region will be affected soon after Andalusia and Campo Charro. “Mosquito disease” is found in Valencia and the Basque Country, about thirty kilometers from France. The risk of it crossing the border in the coming months is obvious and could constitute a way out for Ferias organizers and Spanish breeders because the protocols would be of no use if the virus affects French cattle in 2024.

French farms threatened?

The UVTF has started its work with the DGA to evolve these protocols in 2024 and limit disruptions for the next period. Even if it is possible to hope that the drop in temperatures will work in favor of a reduction in contamination. A solution would also be to disembark the brave Spaniards at the last moment in the corrals of the French arenas to reduce the risks of diffusion if France is not affected by this health problem next year.

If the situation remains the same or worsens in Spain, it will perhaps be an opportunity for French breeders to enter the large Ferias to prove that other quality ganaderias exist alongside the iron of Robert Margé in the large cartel. Bullfighting fairs.

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