Consequences Of Bluetongue Would Be Serious

UK - With a fifth case of Bluetongue confirmed in the East of England, the Ulster Farmers’ Union has urged local farmers to familiarise themselves with the symptoms of the disease and be vigilant.
calendar icon 1 October 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

UFU President Kenneth Sharkey said; “This disease poses a serious threat to the UK livestock industry and it is worrying that we now have five confirmed cases. Because the disease is spread in the midge population, its spread is going to be very difficult to curtail. Ultimately colder temperatures as we approach the winter months will hopefully stop it in its tracks this year, but in the meantime I would urge local farmers to be very vigilant and monitor their livestock closely. Any unusual symptoms should be reported immediately to a vet”.

The UFU participated in a Stakeholder Group meeting with DARD vets this week.

Kenneth Sharkey said; “This strain of the disease has caused serious economic hardship to farmers in Northern Europe where the disease is now firmly established. Farmers have suffered increased livestock mortality and serious productivity downturns in their beef, sheep and dairy farms. Significantly they have also endured long periods of exclusion from live export markets. It is clear that an outbreak of the disease in Northern Ireland would have serious consequences”.

The UFU is encouraging any farmer thinking about bringing susceptible livestock into Northern Ireland from mainland Europe to seriously evaluate the risks and take expert veterinary advice before going ahead with any import consignments.

Further Reading

       - Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.
       - Find out more information on bluetongue disease by clicking here.

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