Currently bluetongue is circulating in Europe.

Part of:
First published:
21 February 2019
Last updated:

Livestock keepers need to understand:

  • the disease risks
  • the consequences of sourcing animals from areas affected with the disease

Bluetongue could spread into the UK by importing infected animals or genetic material.

Bluetongue has been reported in the following European countries:

  • France
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Slovenia
  • Croatia
  • Hungary
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria
  • Greece
  • Cyprus
  • Malta
  • Switzerland

on the European Commission website

Risks

Before deciding to import stock from countries affected with bluetongue, you should:

  • discuss your needs with your private vet
  • consider the risks and the health status of your animals

If you decide to import animals from bluetongue affected countries, you should:

  • ensure animals have been vaccinated against the relevant strains of bluetongue (BTV-8/BTV-4). They should also have the correct paperwork to confirm this
  • consider extra guarantees the seller can provide about the animals’ vaccination status (For example, by requesting a pre-export test to prove immunity to bluetongue) 
  • consider vaccinating your flock/herd against the relevant strains of bluetongue before the animals arrive

You also need to know that:

  • the movement of imported animals will be restricted until they have been tested for infection
  • animals found to be infected with bluetongue will be culled
  • animals which travelled in the same vehicle as those infected may also be culled
  • you will not receive compensation for the culled animals
  • animals on the premises, at risk of becoming infected, will be placed under movement restrictions until it is confirmed that the disease has not spread