Bluetongue: Don’t let your guard down warns CVO

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The Department of Agriculture’s Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) has reminded farmers of the need to remain vigilant against the threat of Bluetongue disease.

CVO Robert Huey said: “Unfortunately in recent weeks there have been isolated incidents of farmers importing cattle from European countries affected by Bluetongue. There are inherent risks associated with this and I would urge farmers not to import cattle from affected countries.

“The potential cost to the agri-food industry of a bluetongue outbreak has previously been estimated at as much as £25million per year. Responsible sourcing of livestock is critical to the maintenance of our high animal health status and ability to trade.

“To date the actions of DARD’s Veterinary Service, alongside our counterparts in the south, in addition to the actions of responsible farmers, have been successful in maintaining Bluetongue free status on the whole island of Ireland. It is vital that the necessary precautions are taken to ensure this status is retained.”

Further information on bluetongue can be obtained from the DARD website at: https://www.dardni.gov.uk/articles/bluetongue

Alternatively, please contact your local Divisional Veterinary Office on 0300 200 7840.