UK confirms additional bluetongue cases following surveillance

Total number of cases reaches seven
calendar icon 7 December 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Following active surveillance within the temporary control zone (TCZ), two further cases have been identified in the UK, taking the total number of cases to seven, according to a press release from Ruminant Health & Welfare. Both cases are linked to a holding with previously confirmed cases of bluetongue serotype 3 (BTV-3).

“These two animals were, until recently, grazing on a premises just outside the TCZ, so as a result, the TCZ has been extended to cover the North and East coasts of Kent”, said Joseph Henry BVMS Cert SHP MRCVS, chair of the Ruminant Health & Welfare (RH&W) bluetongue working group and president of the Sheep Veterinary Society.

“The TCZ is being extended slightly to ensure effective surveillance and minimise the spread of the disease as to-date, as it’s clear the surveillance program is working, so we must continue to support it," he added. “It’s in the industry’s interest to get this testing done as quickly as possible so that we can resume normal trade and we really hope farmers help in facilitating this."

“All of the additional confirmed cases have been on holdings within the TCZ that surrounds the original case found near Canterbury, Kent on 11 November –all cases have been or will be humanely culled to minimise any risk of onward transmission,” explained Henry. “On-going surveillance of all livestock will continue in the newly expanded TCZ, please ensure your animals are registered – it’s never too late to officially register your stock."

“There continues to be no evidence of circulating virus in the UK midge population and with the overall temperature continuing to drop, the risk of midge disease transmission is ever reducing,” he added.

Legislation remains in place around any movement of animals into and out of the control zone. Farmers and vets can view the latest licences available and how to apply on the RH&W website bluetongue hub Bluetongue Virus - Ruminant Health & Welfare (

“When applying for a movement licence its recommended to be as prepared as possible by planning and applying ahead of time to minimise any disruption or delay," Henry concluded. “It is still curial for farmers to beware when buying animals in, take action to report any signs, and always, remain vigilant."

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