Disease surveillance is underway in and around the Temporary Control Zone (TCZ) to fully ascertain the bluetongue situation, following a positive case of the new BTV-3 bluetongue strain being confirmed in a cow (11/11/23), after routine testing.
The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is contacting farmers within the 10km TCZ near Canterbury in Kent to discuss surveillance requirements, explains Dr Joseph Henry BVMS Cert SHP MRCVS, chair of the RH&W bluetongue working group and president of the Sheep Veterinary
“This surveillance is likely to require a visit by APHA vets to inspect and sample some, or all of your susceptible animals (ruminants and camelids).
“Details of what will be required from farmers for the surveillance testing will be explained when you are contacted by APHA” adds Dr Henry.
“It’s advisable to have your movement records and medicine use records up to date and accessible, and it may help to have paper copies of these to hand.”
Dr Henry reiterates that all farmers need to beware when buying or moving animals in, to take action and report any suspicious clinical signs and prioritise biosecurity, and always, remain vigilant.
Surveillance within the 3km immediate zone has already started and is expected to be finished by Sunday, with plans for further surveillance to then commence in the wider 10km TCZ, with farmers being updated with more details in due course.
If you understand you are in the 3km TCZ and have ruminants on your farm holding, but have not been contacted by Sunday by APHA, please do email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The form for animal movement licence applications for farmers in the TCZ is now live and can be accessed via this link: EXD100 Application requesting exemption from restrictions (publishing.service.gov.uk)
For the latest advice on legislation around animal movements and licenses, please visit the RH&W bluetongue hub Bluetongue Virus – Ruminant Health & Welfare (ruminanthw.org.uk).