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Bluetongue Import Controls Cannot Be Trusted
23/12/07

NFU Scotland has reiterated its call that no animals should be imported from bluetongue infected areas following the announcement by Defra that a second case of imported disease has been identified in a week. Earlier this week, the Union made a plea for the industry to adhere to a voluntary ban, however it is now calling on the government to step in and officially ban these movements.

© www.fao.org

bluetongue

On Friday Defra announced that 20 cattle near Worcester had tested positive for bluetongue after being imported from a bluetongue hot spot in the Netherlands. This follows a similar case in Middlesbrough a week ago where an animal was found to have bluetongue having originated in a bluetongue infected area in Germany.

NFUS Vice President Nigel Miller said:

“I have no faith that the current controls are either effective or even being properly implemented and policed. There are suggestions that these latest imports weren’t even tested before they left the Netherlands and the Middlesbrough case has shown that even if they are tested, it is not 100% effective. We can’t trust the current protocols.

“As I said earlier this week, nobody should be bringing animals out of infected areas in the first place. However, we should now remove any opportunity for them to do so by banning such movements until procedures are properly reviewed. This disease is too dangerous to give it the slightest opportunity to spread. Colder temperatures provide some protection but whilst we are still months away from having a vaccine, it is madness for this kind of trade to occur.

“Any farmer thinking of importing animals from a risk area needs to ask themselves if they really want to be the person that brings bluetongue to Scotland and saddles the whole country with two years worth of restrictions.”

link TFA National Chairman Calls for Breathing Space in 2008
link Defra's Nitrate Proposals: All Pain With No Gain
link Bluetongue Vaccine Option Should Be Evaluated for Scotland and Wales

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