In September bluetongue was detected in British livestock but what is blue tongue?
“Bluetongue is a disease of animals affecting all ruminants, including sheep, cattle, deer, goats and camelids (camels, llamas, alpacas, guanaco and vicuña). It does not affect horses. Although sheep are most severely affected, cattle are the main mammalian reservoir of the virus…… Bluetongue does not affect humans.” Defra.
How are these animals infected?
Bluetongue is caused by a virus which is carried by midges. The midges transmit the virus from one animal to another.
The Foot And Mouth Disease that plagued the UK back in 2001 is back in the UK and with a number of FMD cases identified in the last few months it is important that everyone knows what signs to look out for.
“Foot and mouth disease is an infectious disease affecting cloven-hoofed animals, in particular cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and deer.” Defra.
Signs of Foot And Mouth Disease In Sheep
Sudden, severe lameness.
Lies down frequently and is very unwilling to rise.
When made to rise stands in a half-crouching position, with hind legs brought well forward.
Reluctant to move.
Blisters may be found on the hoof where the horn joins the skin which may extend all round the coronet and in the cleft of the foot. When they burst the horn is separated from the tissues underneath, and hair round the hoof may appear damp.
Blisters may appear on the dental pad and sometimes the tongue.
Fatigue in young lambs.
Higher rate of lamb mortality and abortions.
Ewes unwilling to allow lambs to suckle.
For more detailed information visit the Defra website.
The foot and mouth disease is back in the UK. It was reported yesterday that a farm in Guildford, Surrey has cattle infected with foot and mouth.
This is very worrying news for farmers like ourselves. Not only are we having to deal with ruined potato crops and the difficult harvest brought on by the recent floods and bad weather but now the threat of disease is once more a burden facing farmers.
A ban has been placed on the movement of livestock and farmers are being asked to inspect their livestock closely.
Lets hope that this is an isolated outbreak and that livestock farmer’s including ourselves are not affected by this disease.