Bluetongue type one has been detected in a batch of dairy cattle imported from France to the north west of England.
NSA chief executive Peter Morris told Farmers Weekly that the cattle, from an area of France currently battling strains one and eight, had been moved perfectly legally having been vaccinated against bluetongue strains one and eight 60 days before travelling to the UK.
But, the cattle appear to have been infected with type one of the disease around the same time as they were vaccinated and showed low level viremia when post-imported tested by DEFRA.
However, Mr Morris said DEFRA had suggested there was a relatively low risk of onward transmission to UK midges and hence other stock as the affected cattle had been culled immediately the disease was discovered. Additionally, it is believed the virus was present only at a very low level.
But, this discovery once again brings into question current import rules and will doubtless lead to further calls for importations from bluetongue areas of Europe to be suspended.