The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed a further three cases of bluetongue, bringing the total number of cases to 14.
The cases were discovered following active surveillance in the north-east Kent temporary control zone (TCZ).
The cases were all identified in cattle on a holding in the Sandwich Bay area. The holding is situated within the existing TCZ.
Defra said all three animals will be humanely culled to minimise the risk of onward transmission.
These cases bring the total number of cases of bluetongue to 14 on seven different holdings.
Defra said there is currently still “no evidence” that bluetongue virus is circulating in Great Britain, and that surveillance is ongoing.
The TCZ was set up around the initial case in early November, near Canterbury in Kent, with a radius of 10km from the case premises.
Since then, cases of the disease have also been confirmed in Cantley, Broadland in Norfolk. A 10km TCZ was then declared around that premises.
Farmers in England’s south-east and it’s surrounding areas have been urged to be vigilant for bluetongue virus (BTV) on their farms.
Chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss said:
“Bluetongue does not pose a threat to human health or food safety, but the disease can impact livestock farms, and cause productivity issues.
“This detection is an example of our robust disease surveillance procedures in action and it is also a clear reminder for farmers that the disease remains a threat, despite coming towards the end of the midge activity season.
“Farmers must remain vigilant and report any suspicions to APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency).”