HCC urges farmers to remain vigilant over Bluetongue concerns

Livestock farmers in Wales are being urged to remain vigilant for signs of Bluetongue virus in sheep and cattle by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).

Posted on Jun 28 ,00:10

HCC urges farmers to remain vigilant over Bluetongue concerns

There are currently no live cases of Bluetongue in Wales and no evidence that the virus is circulating. However, as the weather gets warmer the likelihood that cases will occur in Great Britain increases.

Bluetongue virus is primarily transmitted by midge bites and affects cattle, goats and sheep. The impacts on susceptible animals can vary greatly – some show no clinical signs or effects at all, while for others it can cause productivity issues, while and in the most severe cases can be fatal for infected animals.

HCC’s Producer and Processor Lead John Richards commented: "It is likely that the first cases of Bluetongue in the UK will be detected along England’s south coast as the disease moves north from Europe. However, we would urge Welsh livestock farmers to remain vigilant, particularly as the weather temperature increases".

John continued: "The disease does not affect food safety and does not pose a threat to human health. However, given the potential implications on animal welfare as well as farms and industry productivity, farmers should report any concerns to the Animal and Plant Health Agency".

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