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Second Case Of Bluetongue Found In Suffolk

25 September 2007

SUFFOLK - A second cow has tested positive for bluetongue at the rare breeds farm where the UK's first case of the disease was discovered, raising the nightmare for farmers of the infection spreading across Britain.

Farmers had a double blow yesterday after a second suspected case of foot-and-mouth was found in Hampshire, causing fresh worries that the outbreak has spread across the county border from the farms surrounding the laboratories at Pirbright, Surrey, where it started.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said last night that tests had confirmed bluetongue in a second cow at the Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm, near Ipswich, Suffolk.

It was immediately slaughtered to limit the chances of the disease spreading. Bluetongue has already spread across the Continent to Britain. On Sunday, Debbie, a ruddy-haired Highland cow who was a favourite with visitors, was put down after being found to be suffering from the midge-borne disease.

Defra said it was not officially declaring it an "outbreak" of bluetongue because there was still no evidence that there was a midge population carrying the disease in the area.

However, the spread of the disease to a second cow raised fears that bluetongue could become endemic in Britain after coming across the Channel from the Netherlands or Belgium.

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Source: Independent


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