European vets are set to decide whether to tighten controls against bluetongue.
Proposals would see increased protection for countries whose bluetongue zone status leaves them susceptible to imports of infected livestock.
The plan would allow countries where bluetongue is not circulating to implement import controls against the disease even if they are inside a protection zone.
It would benefit the UK, which is currently unable to ban imports from countries such as France and the Netherlands, where bluetongue continues to spread.
The proposal will be discussed by Europe’s Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health (SCOFCA) on Tuesday (3 December).
It is being backed by Scotland’s chief vet Charles Milne.
“Scotland is firmly behind the idea and we want England and Wales to support it because we need a united front and the best possible protection.”