The UK’s first case of Bluetongue has been detected on a farm in Suffolk, DEFRA has confirmed.

The disease, first thought to be a case of foot and mouth, was found in a Highland cow on a rare breed’s farm near Ipswich.

Bluetongue, which is transmitted by infected midges, has been present in northern Europe for many years. It affects all ruminants, including cattle, sheep, deer, camelids and goats, but does not affect humans.

The infected animal has been culled and epidemiological investigations are being carried out to assess the situation.   It is not yet known if the disease has spread to other animals or if this is an isolated case.

SYMPTOMS

Infected animals demonstrate discomfort and flu-like symptoms. They also experience swelling and haemorrhaging in and around the mouth and nose.

They can also go lame and have difficulty eating properly.

For more on Bluetongue and the symptoms it causes visit the FWi page: “Bluetongue a real threat to the UK”  

Or, alternatively, visit DEFRA’s Bleutongue advice page by clicking here 

Country Land and Business Association  president said: “What we must not let this do is in any way, to knock confidence among the public at a time when they are being asked to show solidarity to British farmers by eating eat British meat. 

“The arrival of bluetongue has been on the cards following its movement across Europe and the milder weather we’re experiencing in Britain. We had hoped that the fall in temperature as we’re moving into winter would help prevent bluetongue from reaching these shores.

“Undoubtedly, this disease outbreak is yet another worry for livestock farmers. The movement restrictions and daily monitoring by all farmers and rural businesses should help the situation, but a midge-borne virus is difficult to contain.”