Bluetongue zone extended

FEBRUARY 10, 2008: The bluetonguerestricted zone has been extended into Devon and south east Wales afterconfirmation of the disease on a farm near Poole in Dorset.

For the first time, parts of Wales are now within 150km of a confirmed case of Bluetongue disease.

In accordance with the UK Bluetongue Control Strategy and EU legislation, these parts are now in a restricted zone.

href="http://adserver.adtech.de/adlink|3.0|289|1428347|0|277|ADTECH;loc=300;key=key1+key2+key3+key4;grp=[group]"target="_blank">src="http://adserver.adtech.de/adserv|3.0|289|1428347|0|277|ADTECH;loc=300;key=key1+key2+key3+key4;grp=[group]"border="0" width="2" height="2">The restrictedzone covers the counties of Monmouthshire, Torfaen, Caerphilly, RhonddaCynon Taf, the Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot, Cardiff,Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil. A small area of Powys is also withinthe zone.

The same restrictions apply as in the surveillance zone which covers a large part of South East England and the Midlands.

Currently, animals can move from the zone into a disease free areasubject to a negative pre-movement test. Once the 'vector free period'is over farmers within the restricted and surveillance zone will not beable to take their animals into the disease free area unless they aregoing direct to slaughter at an authorised slaughterhouse.

Animals can be taken into the zone from a free area but cannotreturn unless there is another "vector-free period". Animals can travelwithin the zones.

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href="http://adserver.adtech.de/adlink|3.0|289|1428352|0|277|ADTECH;loc=300;key=key1+key2+key3+key4;grp=[group]"target="_blank">src="http://adserver.adtech.de/adserv|3.0|289|1428352|0|277|ADTECH;loc=300;key=key1+key2+key3+key4;grp=[group]"border="0" width="2" height="2">Rural affairsminister Elin Jones said: "This is obviously unwelcome news for thefarming industry in Wales, but it is not unexpected. I would remindeveryone that the disease has not been found in Wales and that is howwe want the situation to remain.

"We are working in close partnership with stakeholders in order tominimise the economic impact of this development and to keep Walesdisease-free. We are in agreement that the current Restricted Zone doesnot, at this time, need to be extended further into Wales. Thesituation will be kept under constant review."

Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Dr Christianne Glossop, said: "Iurge the farming industry to comply with movement restrictions asannounced today. First each farmer needs to find out whether their ownlivestock are now within the newly defined restricted zone."

The Welsh Assembly government has ordered 2.5m doses of the bluetongue vaccine which will become available later this year.