Whole Country May Be Bluetongue Zone

UK - The Government and livestock industry are discussing the possibility of turning the whole of England or Great Britain into one Bluetongue Protection Zone.
calendar icon 5 October 2007
clock icon 1 minute read

There is a belief that, particularly if the virus spreads to new areas, this might ultimately prove to be less burdensome than splitting the country into ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ areas.

The issue has been brought to the fore by the dire situation facing livestock farmers in the current 150km Protection Zone, which stretches from the South East coast up to Grimsby in the north and as far west as Leicestershire and Oxfordshire.

Animals can move within the zone but cannot move out of it, which is creating huge problems due to a severe lack of abattoir capacity.

National Beef Association director Kim Haywood said the ‘majority of the biggest and most specialist beef finishing units in the UK’ were inside the zone and finding it ‘impossible’ to sell cattle as their usual customers were outside the zone.

Retailers were being cut off from their most reliable suppliers, she said.

National Sheep Association chief executive, Peter Morris, said there were between 100,000 and 200,000 sheep ‘too many’ in the zone, including those that would normally move away for grazing elsewhere in winter.

Source: FarmersGuardian
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