Bluetongue Epidemic Hits North Wales

Farmers are being criticized for an outbreak of the deadly bluetongue virus, Bluetongue Epidemic Hits North Walesamong cattle in North Wales this week. There are confirmed reports, of two cases of BTV8 strain of bluetongue at a farm near Ruthin, on Tuesday. 

Bluetongue is characterised by changes in the mucous linings of the mouth and nose, and the coronary band of the foot, but it is not harmful to humans at all. 

Although vaccination for BTV8 is available, but BTV1 has no vaccination and can prove fatal. 

Dr Christine Glossop, chief veterinary officer, Wales, narrates that there had been reports of affected animals in England, but now it is spreading in Wales as well, which makes it a debatable issue, to import animals from infected areas. UK, farmers unions, has urged all farmers to act swiftly, although the vaccination of cattle and sheep is not compulsory in UK. 

Gareth Williams, secretary, Union of Wales group, laid stress on vaccination and asked farmers to be ready for unpredictable Indian summer. Exported livestock from Europe are not being tested for the disease, upsetting farming communities. Bluetongue does no harm to humans.

Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones stresses to get rid of the problem, vaccines are made available to farmers and it’s strongly recommended that farmers must vaccinate animals, so that their stocks could be protected.