Bluetongue Disease

We must all remain vigilant, given the fact that this disease has crossed the sea to England, probably from The Netherlands or Belgium. The Irish Sea will not present much of a barrier once the infection reaches the Northwest of England or North Wales.

Common clinical signs of Bluetongue in both sheep and cattle:

  • Eye and nasal discharges;
  • Drooling as a result of ulcerations in the mouth;
  • High body temperature;
  • Swelling of the mouth, head and neck.

Sheep are more severely affected and those surviving can show;

  • Lameness;
  • Bleeding into or under the skin;
  • Inflammation and soreness at the junction of the skin and the horn of the foot;
  • Respiratory problems - difficulty with breathing and nasal discharge.

A 'blue' tongue is rarely a sign of infection!

For the latest DEFRA news releases please see the DEFRA Bluetongue website pages.

For further information please contact:

Agriculture Directorate

Telephone:+44 1624 685844

Email:Send Email

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