Britain is officially free of bluetongue
, with the last outbreak occurring in the south of England in 2007.
I am urging our livestock farmers to keep an eye out for any signs of the disease and report any suspicions to their vet and the Animal and Plant Health Agency immediately, so we can work together to reduce the possible spread of Bluetongue
(BT) an arthropod-borne disease can also occur by biting midge Culicoides spp.
Culicoides and the global epidemiology of bluetongue
The UK and Welsh Government will continue to press the EU to amend legislation to allow farmers to use vaccination when bluetongue
zones are not in place.
The National Farmers' Union (NFU) said there was no evidence that bluetongue
was circulating in the region and warned farmers to take extra care when importing animals.
Two million additional doses of the Bluetongue
serotype 8 (BTV- 8) vaccine have been delivered.
poses no risk to human health, the disease can prove devastating to flocks of sheep and an outbreak could harm the supply of UK meat.
There have now been 122 cases of bluetongue
in the UK since the disease was first discovered near Ipswich, Suffolk last September, 56 of which have been identified this year.
Britain's first case of bluetongue
was found on a farm in Ipswich in September.
Since 1999 there have been widespread outbreaks of Bluetongue
in Greece, Italy, Corsica and the Balearic Islands.
disease was discovered in South Africa, but has spread to several other countries.