Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Caprine arthritis encephalitis confirmed in Northern Ireland
“This is the first-ever confirmation of the CAE virus in NI, other than those recorded at post-import checks".

DAERA reports first-ever confirmed case of the disease in the country

Northern Ireland’s (NI) chief veterinary officer Dr Robert Huey has called for vigilance after officials confirmed the first case of caprine arthritis encephalitis (CAP) goat disease in the country.

On Thursday (21 November) NI’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), confirmed the disease in a goat on a holding in County Londonderry. CAE is a lentivirus closely related to Maedi Visna virus in sheep and is notifiable in NI. 


“This is the first-ever confirmation of the CAE virus in NI, other than those recorded at post-import checks,” explained Dr Huey. “The virus is found worldwide, but until this detection, the disease has never been recorded on the island of Ireland.”


An initial assessment of the infected goat, which had been imported from Great Britain (GB) concluded that the most likely source of infection was at the herd of origin in GB. The animals on the premises were slaughtered under DAERA supervision and movements are being restricted.

Dr Huey said that keeping the disease out of Northern Ireland is vital for animal health and urged farmers to carry out effective biosecurity measures.


“Keeping NI free from animal diseases, in so far as possible, is vital to maintain our high standards of animal health and underpin the trading status of NI agri-food,” Dr Huey added.

“While CAE certainly adversely affects the health of goats due to pain and disability, the presence of this disease could potentially have serious economic implications. The economic impact of CAE includes reduced productivity, early culling, paralysis and death in kids, gradual drop in milk yield due to mastitis and potential damage to export sales.”

He continued: “It is essential that we continue to take the necessary steps to protect our animals, industry, international trade and the wider economy. I would strongly encourage farmers to follow DAERA guidance on responsible sourcing of animals and to be aware of the significant risks and the potentially adverse consequences, both for themselves and for the industry of a disease incursion.”


Clinical signs of CAE include arthritis in the older animal and a lowered mid yield owing to mastitis. Most goats contract the disease at a young age and continue to test positive for life. Transmission is primarily by milk or colostrum.


Other clinical signs include poor coat conditions, hard udder syndrome, paralysis in kids’ legs and hair loss. 

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Face covering rules expanded

News Story 1
 New rules came into force in England on Saturday (8 August) making it mandatory for clients to wear a face covering in veterinary practices.

The rules, which also apply to cinemas, museums and places of worship, follow a recent spike in coronavirus cases. All clients in England must now wear a face covering when inside a veterinary practice unless they are exempt for age, health or equality reasons. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Poultry webinar proves big hit with vets

A week long webinar series dedicated to backyard poultry has proven to be a big hit with vets, attracting more than 300 participants since its launch.

The series focuses on a variety of topics, including how to spot and treat common diseases, practical advice for clinical examinations and the importance of preventative healthcare.

The webinars can now be accessed online. To find out more and to view the series, visit the MSD Animal Health Hub.