Vet giving bluetongue vaccination© Nick Spurling/FLPA/Imagebroker/Rex Shutterstock

 In the past fortnight a further 15 livestock farms have been confirmed with bluetongue virus (serotype-8) in central France, following the initial August outbreak.

See also: Risk of french bluetongue spread raised in spring

Each farm has reported one case in cattle, with a total of more than 3,000 head of livestock deemed “susceptible” by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), including 252 sheep and 161 goats.

The largest farm recently affected is a 366-head cattle herd in Allier, close to the initial cases reported on 28 August. A raft of measures is in place to contain the virus, although vaccination measures have been focused on animals in live or genetic export sectors.

Veterinarians have been urging UK farmers to be vigilant for bluetongue, underlining the potential for a spring outbreak as temperatures rise.