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UK Control Zone Creeps Outwards

11 October 2007

UK - Defra today announced that the existing Bluetongue Control and Protection Zones are being extended following confirmation of further cases of Bluetongue in Essex.

The UK Bluetongue Control Strategy and EU legislation require that the zones to be extended due to the proximity of these cases to the boundary of the existing Control Zone.

Fred Landeg, Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer said:

"Finding further cases is not unexpected, particularly given the nature of the disease and its spread by midges, and we expect to see more cases before the end of the active midge season this winter."

"If we are to contain disease within the Control and Protection Zone, we must have an accurate picture of how far the disease has spread. Therefore I continue to urge all farmers to remain vigilant, check their animals twice daily and report any sign of disease immediately."

Further information is available to farmers via the Defra helpline (0845 9 335577) and website www.defra.gov.uk. Animal Health have also sent information letters and leaflets to all farmers within the previous Bluetongue Control Zone and Protection Zones and have sent voicemails to livestock keepers within these zones when the disease was confirmed as circulating. Farmers can also call the Animal Health 24 hour recorded information line (0844 884 4600) for up-to-date information on the latest developments.

A map of current the Bluetongue Control and Protection Zones can be found at: www.defra.gov.uk/bluetongue

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