Farmers warned to be vigilant over virus

PUBLISHED: 17:24 27 September 2007 | UPDATED: 21:49 29 May 2010

FARMERS throughout Essex are being asked to be extra vigilant for cattle infected with the Bluetongue virus. On Tuesday Defra confirmed that a third animal had tested positive on a premises near Lowestoft. A Defra spokesman said: In the light of this, it

FARMERS throughout Essex are being asked to be extra vigilant for cattle infected with the Bluetongue virus.

On Tuesday Defra confirmed that a third animal had tested positive on a premises near Lowestoft.

A Defra spokesman said: "In the light of this, it has been agreed that it would not be appropriate to allow farm to farm movements in Norfolk and Suffolk.

"Essex is also considered to be at risk of Bluetongue, but as it is also in the Foot and Mouth Disease Risk Area, farm-to-farm movements would not be permitted in any case."

At this stage, there is not sufficient evidence to confirm an active outbreak of Bluetongue by the internationally-recognised definition.

Debby Reynolds, chief veterinary officer, said: "It remains vitally important that farmers maintain vigilance for this disease and report any suspect cases, particularly as clinical signs may be similar to Foot and Mouth disease."

Bluetongue is a disease of animals. It is transmitted by the midges or by the movement of infected animals if they are subsequently bitten by midges.

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