Sunday, November 19, 2017

Warning after imported animals test positive for bluetongue

November 1, 2017 by  
Filed under Livestock

Vets have called for farmers to act responsibly and remain vigilant after cattle imported into the UK from France tested positive for bluetongue virus.

The animals entered the UK last month destined for Scotland and the north of England. They tested positive during routine post-movement assessments. All of the animals which tested positive or were deemed at high risk of being infected were humanely culled on farm.

British Veterinary Association senior vice president Gudrun Ravetz said: “It is reassuring that the systems we have in place for post-movement testing have ensured the disease has been detected quickly, and that action has been taken.

“However, it is a grave and timely reminder to all livestock keepers of the importance of responsible sourcing of animals, and of fully understanding the potential disease risks of importing animals from areas where disease is known to be circulating.

Signs of the disease include eye and nasal discharge, drooling, swelling around the head or mouth, lethargy and lameness. Bluetongue does not pose a threat to human health, but can have a negative impact on animal health for example by causing infertility or reduced milk yields.

The British Cattle Veterinary Association, Sheep Veterinary Society and Goat Veterinary Society all stressed the importance of careful animal sourcing. Farmers should always consult their local vet and act within their farm health plan when sourcing new animals, they said.

Bluetongue is a notifiable disease and any suspicions must be reported immediately to the Animal and Plant Health Agency on 03000 200 301.

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