Bluetongue disease has been confirmed on a farm in County Durham, DEFRA has announced.

The disease was found in 18 imported cattle on a farm in Bishop Auckland, County Durham.

The animals were imported from within the BTV8 restricted zone in Germany and were identified in DEFRA‘s post-import testing.

The animals will be under restriction until October.

Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer Alick Simmons reminded farmers of the importance of vaccinating their animals. He warned: “This incident shows how important it is for farmers to consider potential disease risks when buying stock, regardless of source.”

The north east of England has only been within the bluetongue protection zone since 1 September.

It may take up to six to eight weeks from now for livestock keepers in the North of England and Wales to have had sufficient opportunity to vaccinate their livestock and for the animals to have developed the immunity, DEFRA warned.