The National Beef Association is pressing the cattle industry
to make a special effort to stop Bluetongue Virus (BTV) entering
the UK - especially through imported cattle.
As summer approaches the UK faces the risk of a BTV outbreak and
Defra underlined the need for precautions in February when it confirmed
it is illegal to import cattle if they originate from, or have
traveled through, a restricted BTV zone.
At present BTV restricted
areas include all of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg as
well as parts of Western Germany and Northern France.
restriction zones there are rules which cover the movement of all
ruminants, the export of animals from these zones is prohibited,
and all animals on premises within as zone have to be identified
and tested for Bluetongue.
“The rules established to protect the UK are straightforward. The import
of any ruminant originating from a restricted area is prohibited and at present
those that have transited or crossed a restricted area are not allowed in either,” stressed
NBA policy advisor, Kim Haywood.
“Furthermore important departure points like Dunkirk and Calais are within
the restricted zones established in France and susceptible animals moving through
these ports must not enter the UK.”
“A breech of these strict rules will incur a penalty of £5,000, or
a three month prison term, and could result in the slaughter of the imported
cattle. The NBA is very keen that all importers are aware of this and then take
Similar strict rules also apply to empty lorries entering the UK.
These must fall in with transport regulations which state that
livestock wagons traveling into the country must be thoroughly
cleansed so any manure that could be hiding infected midges is
“We want to be sure that all precautions to protect the UK are taken. The
NBA is aware of three recent instances where cattle that have traveled through
BTV restricted zones have entered the UK,” said Ms Haywood.
“Surveillance at ports has increased as a result of these breaches and
the animals are being tested.”
“It must be underlined that these illegal loads have put the rest of the
UK cattle herd at risk and further breaches cannot be tolerated.”
UK Cattle Industry Beware the Blue Tongue threat
Bluetongue virus in the Netherlands identified as serotype 8 by IAH
Bluetongue prevention measures stepped
Bluetongue disease confirmed in
Belgium and Germany