Toledo (EFE).- The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development, Francisco Martínez Arroyo, has announced that from this Tuesday sheep and goat farms will be immobilized in all the provinces, except Guadalajara, to control sheep pox and guarantee the supply of milk for the production of Manchego cheese.
In fact, the measure “is not going to mean any type of problem for the delivery of milk to the cheese factories” according to what the counselor said during a visit to the La Huz cheese company in Villamayor de Santiago (Cuenca), where he specified that From this Tuesday the animals will only be able to leave to go to the slaughterhouse.
Martínez Arroyo explained that the measure is adopted “in order to control a disease that can complicate the profitability of a product like Manchego and of an entire sector, of sheep and goats in Castilla-La Mancha, which is key for the population and key for the territory”.
He added that it is a “responsibility” measure that is taken “to control the disease and so that there are still businesses that can continue to generate wealth in the territories.”
35,000 animals slaughtered for smallpox
The counselor explained that the measure was agreed with the agrarian organizations UPA, Asaja and Coag, the National Association of Breeders of Select Manchego Sheep Cattle (Agrama) and the Regulatory Councils of the Protected Designation of Origin Manchego Cheese and the Geographical Indication Protected Manchego Lamb.
Sources from the Ministry of Agriculture have indicated to EFE that 35,000 animals have been slaughtered due to sheep and goat smallpox.
Martínez Arroyo explained that cheesemakers usually tell him that there is a lack of Manchego sheep milk since the demand is “much higher” than production capacity, and in fact in 2022 Castilla-La Mancha has broken a record and has manufactured 18 million kilos of Manchego cheese, which is “the highest figure in our history”.