In France and Portugal more than 60 cattle farms have already been infected with epizootic haemorrhagic disease (EHD) this year. EHD is caused by an orbivirus, which attacks the lining of small blood vessels, causing edema, bleeding and wounds. The virus is transmitted by biting insects of the type Culicoides (midges). Previously, more than 100 farms had already been infected in Spain and there were also infections in Sicily and Sardinia. In accordance with European regulations, protection zones of 150 kilometres are set up around infected farms from which no live cattle, sheep or goats may be exported.