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Bluetongue Warning

22 October 2007

UK - Confirmed cases of Bluetongue in two new English Counties in recent days highlights the need for vigilance in the local industry, the Ulster Farmers’ Union said today.

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"Hopefully colder temperatures during the winter months will help stop the disease spreading."

UFU President Kenneth Sharkey

New cases of Bluetongue have been confirmed in Cambridgeshire and Kent, resulting in the Bluetongue Protection Zone now stretching from the East coast of England to the Welsh Border.

UFU President Kenneth Sharkey said; “Currently in Northern Ireland there are live animal import bans due to Foot and Mouth controls in GB and Bluetongue controls in mainland Europe. However when import rules from GB or mainland Europe are relaxed we need to consider carefully how best to protect our industry from Bluetongue. This disease poses a serious threat to the UK livestock industry. Because the disease is spread in the midge population, it’s spread is going to be very difficult to curtail. Hopefully colder temperatures during the winter months will help stop the disease spreading, but in the meantime local farmers need to be very vigilant and monitor their livestock closely. Anyone considering future imports of livestock must also think about the implications of this carefully and evaluate the risks involved”.

The UFU says the disease has the potential to cause serious economic hardship to effected farms. Outbreak farms in Northern Europe have suffered increased livestock mortality and serious productivity downturns in beef, sheep and dairying, as well as enduring live export bans from affected regions.

TheCattleSite News Desk


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