Monday, 31 August 2015

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What is Bluetongue?

Bluetongue is a disease that affects ruminants. It is caused by an orbivirus and is spread between animals by a biting midge.

Generally, sheep are most severely affected by the disease. Infected cattle do not show signs of the disease but are carriers of the virus and are an important factor in its spread.

Symptoms and Warning Signs

Symptoms and signs of the disease include:

  • Fever
  • Breathlessness
  • Swelling and redness of the mouth, nose and eyelids - possibly including the blue discolouration of the tongue ... hence the name of the disease.

Any suspicion of this disease must be notified to the Government. For further information please see the Animal Diseases section of the DEFRA (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) website.

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