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Risk of Bluetongue Spread from France to UK to Rise as Weather Warms

15 June 2016

UK - The UK's risk level remains the same, but the risk of Bluetongue spread from France will start to increase with daily average temperatures heading into summer, concludes the latest situation report from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Bluetongue has been spreading around France for some time, and has now reported 285 outbreaks, according to APHA's report.

Vaccine has been made available for the UK market from July onwards, but the decision to vaccinate should be with the farmer, in consultation with their private veterinary surgeon, APHA said.

Producers are being encouraged to look out for signs of Bluetongue, which levy board AHDB Dairy said include:

  • Lethargy
  • Crusty erosions around the nostrils and muzzle
  • Redness of the mouth, eyes, nose
  • Redding of the skin above the hoof
  • Nasal discharge
  • Reddening and erosions on the teats

Cattle often do not show clear signs of disease so owners should also look out for signs of fatigue and lower productivity including reduced milk yield.

Derek Armstrong, AHDB Dairy Lead Veterinary Science Expert, said: “The latest expert assessment is that the UK is at high risk of a BTV outbreak towards the end of the summer as a result of infected midges being blown across from France to the South East of England.

“Although cattle may show no signs of illness, I strongly encourage people to monitor the stock carefully and report any clinical signs of BTV to the Animal and Plant Health Agency on 03000 200 301.”

TheCattleSite News Desk

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