Bluetongue cases discovered in Norfolk
8th December 2023
Routine surveillance has identified two cases of bluetongue in cattle on a farm near Cantley, Broadland in Norfolk.
Two new cases of bluetongue in Norfolk bring the total to 11 cases on six different premises.
A 10km temporary control zone (TCZ) has been declared around the premises and both animals will be humanely culled to minimise the risk of onward transmission. Movement restrictions apply to cattle, sheep and other ruminants.
There is currently no evidence that bluetongue virus is circulating in Great Britain and surveillance is ongoing, said the Ruminant Health and Welfare group.
England’s first case of bluetongue in 16 years was confirmed in November through routine surveillance, and a 10km temporary control zone put in place around the affected farms.
Additional surveillance later identified a further six cases in Kent. The infected animals were culled to reduce the risk of disease spread.
First bluetongue case in sheep
Following the first case of bluetongue being confirmed in sheep on Thursday (7th December), the National Sheep Association urged farmers in the TCZ to be on high alert for signs of the disease.
NSA chief executive Phil Stocker said: “It is disappointing, but not entirely surprising that BTV-3 has now been found in sheep. NSA understands the case was found in a mixed herd and identified through the routine surveillance testing currently being undertaken.”
There has been no direct animal-to-animal spread of the disease in this current outbreak, he added.
As no vaccine is currently available, farmers were urged to maintain exceptional biosecurity, including ensuring needles are changed between any routine vaccinations.
A new bluetongue hotline is available for all farmers and animal keepers from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday on 024 7771 0386. NFU members can also access the CallFirst hotline: 0370 845 8458.
Check the bluetongue disease control zone map to find out if you’re in a TCZ.
For the latest advice on legislation around animal movements and licenses, visit the RH&W bluetongue hub Bluetongue Virus – Ruminant Health & Welfare (ruminanthw.org.uk).
In the UK, bluetongue, including BTV-3, is a notifiable disease, so anyone suspecting the disease must take action and report it to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).