The British Veterinary Association is warning everyone to be extra vigilant when importing livestock after Defra announced that a number of cattle that tested positive for Bluetongue virus BTV-8 were imported from France.
The BVA says “The animals entered the UK earlier this month destined for four farms in England (Preston and Kendal) and two locations in Scotland. The virus was detected in some of the animals during routine post-movement tests. All of the animals that have tested positive for the virus, or that are at high risk of being infected, will be humanely culled on farm and restrictions have been placed on each of the four farms.”
Towcester Farm Vets alongside the BVA would like to stress the importance, more than ever, of responsible sourcing and fully understanding the potential risks of importing animals from areas where disease is known to be circulating.
Bluetongue virus is transmitted by biting midges and not direct contact with infected animals. The midges thrive in mild Autumn climates and can travel over 200 km on the wind which is how infection has been introduced to new areas in the past.
Bluetongue is characterised by changes to the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and the coronary band of the foot, discharge from the eyes and nose, salivation, swelling around the head, lethargy, lameness and high rectal temperatures
Bluetongue is a reportable disease and any signs should be reported to the Animal Plant and Health Agency (AHPA) immediately 0n 03000 200 301.
Please contact our Farm team if you wish to discuss safely sourcing new animals and what vaccinations available. More information on Blue tongue can be found on the DEFRA website.