Following active surveillance within a 10km temporary control zone, a further four cases of bluetongue serotype 3 (BTV-3) have been identified in cattle on two additional farms in Kent.

“It’s clear the surveillance is working,” said Dr Joseph Henry, chair of the Ruminant Health and Welfare (RHaW) bluetongue working group and president of the Sheep Veterinary Society.

“All of these additional confirmed cases are from cattle with no clinical signs, all of which are on farm premises within the 10km TCZ that surrounds the first case found near Canterbury, Kent on 11 November – they have all been culled to reduce any risk of onward transmission,” added Dr Henry.

“So far, there is no evidence of circulating virus in the UK midge population and with the overall temperature dropping, the risk of midge disease transmission is reducing.

“The TCZ remains in place with ongoing surveillance on all livestock, so please ensure your animals are registered – it’s never too late to register your stock officially.

“There is also ongoing surveillance in areas outside the TCZ, as part of the routine bluetongue monitoring strategy. This was how the original case was detected,” explains Dr Henry.

Legislation remains in place around any movement of animals into and out of the control zone. Farmers and vets can view the latest licences available and how to apply on the RH&W website bluetongue hub Bluetongue Virus - Ruminant Health & Welfare (

“It remains the case that farmers need to beware when buying animals, take action to report any signs, and always, remain vigilant,” reiterates Dr Henry.

Farmers can access and call the dedicated bluetongue hotline to get advice or ask questions linked to the current situation – call the bluetongue hotline on 024 7771 0386.

In the UK, bluetongue, including BTV-3, is a notifiable disease, so anyone suspecting the disease must take action and report it to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).