UK warns of increased risk of Bluetongue as temperatures rise

Livestock in the UK are facing an increased risk of a Bluetongue disease outbreak as temperatures continue to rise, according to DEFRA.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has said that this has been caused by improving daily temperatures across mainland France and the UK.

Earlier this year, a DEFRA report in the UK showed that there is an 80% chance that UK farms will suffer a bluetongue outbreak before the end of the summer.

The disease will most likely be spread by midges that are blown over from disease-outbreak regions in France, the report found.

However, this predicted outbreak is highly dependent on the level of disease on the continent, the proximity of the disease to the UK and the weather conditions.

Bluetongue outbreaks in France

According to DEFRA, there have been a total of 285 disease outbreaks reported in France.

It also shows that a further 13 new cases have been identified in France since May 13, 2016, with all of the recent outbreaks occurring on cattle farms.

However, there has been no increase in the spread if the disease towards the north coast of France, but cases have been detected towards the northerly area of the restriction zone.

Outbreaks in France

BLUETONGUE DEFRA 10June
Source: DEFRA

Irish cattle exports to Turkey hinge on Bluetongue-free status

Live cattle exports to Turkey depend on Ireland maintaining its Bluetongue-free status, according to Bord Bia.

Turkey’s live cattle market opened to Irish live cattle exports in March, with the middle eastern state expected to import more than 500,000 live cattle this year.

The opening of the Turkish export market was welcomed by farming organisations, but an outbreak of Bluetongue in Ireland could scupper live exports of Irish cattle to Turkey.

Earlier this year, Bord Bia said that Ireland’s Bluetongue-free status is one of the main reasons why Turkish buyers are interested in Irish cattle.

But, a bluetongue outbreak in Ireland could see Turkish buyers lose interest in the Irish market.

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