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.
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