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BSE case confirmed in Scotland
“The fast detection of this case is proof that our surveillance system is doing its job” – Sheila Voas.
Precautionary measures have been put in place.

A single case of classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has been confirmed in Scotland.

The disease was detected on a farm in Ayrshire as part of routine surveillance after the animal died. The case has been described by Scotland’s chief veterinary officer as an “isolated” one.

Farmers are being urged to seek veterinary advice if they have any concerns.

As required by UK law, the cohorts and offspring of the infected cow will be humanely culled and the carcasses destroyed.

Movement restrictions have been put in place as a precaution at both the premises where the case was discovered and three other sites - the farm where the animal originated and two farms where cattle have had access to the same feed.

The Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA) is investigating the origins of the outbreak. The animal, which was kept for breeding, did not enter the human food chain and Food Standards Scotland have said there is no risk to human health.

The case is the first case of classical BSE in the UK since September 2021 and only the fifth since 2014.

Scotland’s chief veterinary officer Sheila Voas said: “The fast detection of this case is proof that our surveillance system is doing its job. We are working closely with the APHA and other partners to identify where the disease came from.

“I want to reassure both farmers and the public that the risk associated with this isolated case is minimal.”

Anna Judson, British Veterinary Association president, said: “While this is clearly concerning for everyone involved in the farming industry and the veterinary profession, it shows that the comprehensive and robust veterinary surveillance system is effective in detecting potential risk, enabling the authorities to put in place appropriate precautionary measures.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Reporting service for dead wild birds updated

News Story 1
 The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has updated its online reporting service for dead wild birds.

The new version allows those reporting a dead bird to drop a pin on a map when reporting the location. It also includes a wider range of wild bird species groups to select from when describing the bird.

The online service, which helps APHA to monitor the spread of diseases such as avian influenza, can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
NI chief vet urges bluetongue vigilance

Northern Ireland's chief veterinary officer (CVO) has urged farmers to be vigilant for signs of bluetongue, after the Animal and Plant Health Agency warned there was a very high probability of further cases in Great Britain.

There have been 126 confirmed cases of bluetongue virus serotype 3 in England since November 2023, with no cases reported in Northern Ireland. The movement of live ruminants from Great Britain to Northern Ireland is currently suspended.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the virus is most likely to enter Northern Ireland through infected animals or germplasm (semen or ova) being imported.

Brian Dooher, Northern Ireland's CVO, said: "Surveillance for this disease within Northern Ireland has been increased to assist with detection at the earliest opportunity which will facilitate more effective control measures."

Farmers should report any suspicions of the disease to their private veterinary practitioner, the DAERA Helpline on 0300 200 7840 or their local DAERA Direct Veterinary Office.