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.
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.”
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