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Bluetongue case confirmed in Great Britain
“Farmers must remain vigilant and report any suspicions to APHA” – Christine Middlesmiss, chief veterinary officer.
Defra introduces 10km Temporary Control Zone.

A case of bluetongue virus serotype 3 (BTV-3) has been confirmed in a single cow on a farm near Canterbury, Kent.

The case, the first in Great Britain since 2007, was identified by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and the Pirbright Institute through Great Britain’s annual bluetongue surveillance programme.

The cow has been culled and a 10km Temporary Control Zone has been put in place which restricts the movement of cattle, sheep and other ruminants. The Government is urging farmers to be vigilant.

Since the start of September, a new strain of BTV-3 has affected hundreds of farms in the Netherlands, with cases also reported in Belgium and Germany. There are restrictions in place on the movement of livestock from affected regions.

The infected animal had not been imported.

Chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss said: “Bluetongue does not pose a threat to human health or food safety, but the disease can impact livestock farms, and cause productivity issues.

“This detection is an example of our robust disease surveillance procedures in action and it is also a clear reminder for farmers that the disease remains a threat, despite coming towards the end of the midge activity season.

“Farmers must remain vigilant and report any suspicions to APHA.”

Bluetongue is a notifiable disease. Suspected cases must be reported to APHA on 03000 200 301.

Image © Shutterstock


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VMG president joins House of Lords

News Story 1
 Miles Russell, president of the Veterinary Management Group (VMG), has been elected to the House of Lords as a crossbench hereditary peer.

He will join Lord Trees as a representative of the veterinary sector in the second chamber of the UK parliament.

Lord Russell said: "Those of us working in the animal health and veterinary sectors are only too aware of the importance of the work we do and the challenges we face.

"I will use my platform in the House of Lords to increase understanding of our sectors and to promote positive change." 

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News Shorts
Sixth case of bluetongue confirmed

A sixth case of bluetongue virus serotype 3 has been confirmed in the UK.

The case was detected in an animal on a premises linked to one of the farms within the Temporary Control Zone (TCZ) currently in place near Canterbury, Kent.

In response, the Animal and Plant Health Agency has extended the TCZ. Investigations into the spread of the disease are ongoing.

The cases in Kent come at a time when a new strain of the virus has spread rapidly across farms in the Netherlands. Both the Government and the British Veterinary Association have urged livestock keepers to remain vigilant.

Bluetongue is a notifiable disease and suspected cases must be reported immediately on 03000 200 301 in England or 03003 038 268 in Wales. In Scotland, possible cases should be reported to the local field services office.