Bluetongue meetings hit the road

Bluetongue can affect ruminants such as sheep as well as cattle, goats and deer and camelids, such as llamas and alpacas
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The Joint campaign Against Bluetongue (JAB) will be hitting the road to deliver a series of meetings that will provide bluetongue updates to farmers, veterinarians, and the wider industry. 

Seminars will be held across the south of England – the area of the country where the disease poses the biggest risk, according to the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).

Attendees will get the opportunity to hear about what clinical signs to keep an eye open for, what to do if the illness is suspected and information about the vaccine.

“We are targeting farming communities across the south of England, as we know that this is likely to be the route of transmission by infected midges being blown across from France, where the situation is being carefully monitored,” commented NFU animal health and welfare adviser Rebecca Veale.

“The meetings that are being organised will include presentations from vets, scientists and NFU advisers and the audiences can also get involved in question-and-answer sessions.”

Bluetongue is a virus transmitted through the bites of midges, which are most active between May and October. All ruminants can be infected, such as sheep, cattle, goats and deer, as well as camelids like llamas and alpacas.

At present, the disease is currently circulating in France. According to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), there is the chance for a bluetongue outbreak in the UK in the spring or summer months, with late summer being the most likely time.

JAB has put together a leaflet and poster to highlight the signs of bluetongue and how farmers can be proactive.

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