Bluetongue strain identified as European

SCIENTISTS have identified the strain of the Bluetongue virus which has been detected in a cow at Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm as one found in Europe last year.

SCIENTISTS have identified the strain of the Bluetongue virus which has been detected in a cow at Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm as one found in Europe last year.

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has revealed the strain has been identified as Serotype 8 which has ben found in Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands since August 2006.

Defra has also announced that it could take days or even weeks to assess whether the disease is circulating among other animals and therefore could be considered an outbreak.

Today the farm has remained closed and quiet, but the area has become a focus for national media attention.

The farm remains under restrictions and investigations are being carried out to assess the situation.

Debby Reynolds, chief veterinary officer said: “It remains vitally important that farmers maintain vigilance for this disease and report any suspect cases, particularly as clinical signs may be similar to foot and mouth disease.

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“I would like to thank the owner, Animal Health and the Institute of Animal Health for their rapid response in helping to detect Bluetongue in this single animal.”

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