Representation and Education

Bluetongue-positive animals imported to England and Scotland – Vets urged to be vigilant

BCVA (in collaboration with BVA, SVS and GVS) would like to remind cattle vets and farmers about the need for responsible sourcing of animals after Defra and the Scottish Government announced that a number of cattle in a single consignment from France, from an area where BTV-8 is prevalent, have been tested positive for Bluetongue virus BTV-8.

The animals entered the country on the 10th of October destined for four farms in England and Scotland.  The virus was detected in some of these animals during the routine post-movement tests. All of the cattle which presented a risk of spreading BTV have been humanely culled by government. The farms involved have been placed under movement restrictions until further testing has been completed. These animals were picked up during routine post movement testing and as such the test results will not change the BTV- free status of the UK.

This incident highlights the importance of risk-based trading and responsible sourcing with regards to all infectious diseases.

BTV is spread via infected midges and the general signs of infection include eye and nasal discharge, drooling, swelling around the mouth, lethargy, lameness, milkdrop and reproductive issues. However, as this particular strain does not always show obvious clinical signs it is vital to remain vigilant for any suspicious signs of disease. BTV-8 does not pose a threat to human health. 

BTV is a notifiable disease and any suspicions should be reported to APHA immediately on 03000 200 301 (England), 0300 303 8268 (Wales), regional Field Services Offices in Scotland ( or to DAERA in Northern Ireland on 0300 200 7840. For further information, contact the Defra Helpline on 03459 33 55 77 and farmers are advised to contact their vet to discuss disease control options and risk-based trading.

BCVA Office
24th October 2017


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