DEFRA has confirmed that eight imported cattle, on premises near Tiverton, Devon, are carrying the bluetongue virus.

The animals were all part of the same consignment imported from within the bluetongue restricted zone in Germany.

The presence of the bluetongue virus was detected by post-import testing, conducted by DEFRA.

The tests are carried out on all bluetongue susceptible animals arriving from continental Europe, in addition to checks at the country of origin.

DEFRA has also confirmed that an extension of the bluetongue protection zone into Northumberland and Cumbria will take place on Monday 1 September.

A DEFRA spokesman  said the extension would complete the roll-out of the vaccination programme in England.