More than 50 cases of bluetongue have now been reported in the Norfolk and Kent area, prompting an ‘urgent’ open meeting with farmers and vets.

The discussion is to be held this evening (Monday 15) at Dunston Hall Hotel, Norwich. The focus will be on those currently affected by the virus, including 51 individual cases on 27 farms and holdings.

Board member Hugh Broom from NFU East Livestock and NSA chairman Dan Phipps will chair the meeting.

Members from industry organisations will help to support and deliver the meeting, including the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS), the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA), British Meat Processors Association, (BMPA), Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA), National Beef Association (NBA), National Farmers Union (NFU), National Sheep Association (NSA), Ruminant Health & Welfare (RH&W) and Sheep Veterinary Society (SVS).

Dan Phipps said: “By bringing together representatives and experts across key industry organisations, we hope to help build vital networks within the TCZ in Norfolk.

“Ensuring vital and importantly, up to date BTV-3 information is accurately shared with farmers is dependent on all of the industry experts and stakeholders collaborating.”

Defra has confirmed during the latest update that the TCZ will not be extended and that movement restrictions still apply within the current TCZ areas.

Farmers seeking advice or information related to the current bluetongue situation can call the dedicated hotline at 024 7771 0386 from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.