Two new cases of Bluetongue on Herts border

PUBLISHED: 09:19 14 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:13 26 October 2009

A PROTECTION zone has been set up across Hertfordshire after two new cases of Bluetongue disease. The cases have been confirmed close to the county s borders, in Essex and Middlesex. Now Herts Trading Standards officers are working closely with livestock

A PROTECTION zone has been set up across Hertfordshire after two new cases of Bluetongue disease.

The cases have been confirmed close to the county's borders, in Essex and Middlesex.

Now Herts Trading Standards officers are working closely with livestock farmers.

Bluetongue has no public health implications and does not affect humans. Under current circumstances there are no implications for the food chain.

County councillor Richard Smith, executive member for community safety, said: "We would urge all keepers of livestock to keep up to date with the current restrictions to help prevent the spread of this disease.

"We are currently in a vector free period which means that the risk of transmission is very low, but we are remaining vigilant and working with local farmers and Defra to try to minimise risks."

No movements out of the protection zone are allowed except under licence.

For the most up to date information visit the Defra website at www.defra.gov.uk or call the hotline on 08459 335577.

* Bluetongue is a disease of animals affecting all ruminants, including sheep, cattle, deer, goats and camelids (camels, llamas, alpacas, guanaco and vicuña).

It does not affect horses or pigs.

Although sheep are most severely affected, cattle are the main mammalian reservoir of the virus and are very important in the epidemiology of the disease.

It is characterised by changes to the mucous linings of the mouth and nose and the coronary band of the foot.

The disease is caused by a virus spread by certain types of biting midges.

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