Published Date: 2017-11-10 16:38:44
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Bluetongue - Europe (07): UK ex France, bovine, st 8, assessment
Archive Number: 20171110.5436208
BLUETONGUE - EUROPE (07): UK ex FRANCE, BOVINE, SEROTYPE 8, ASSESSMENT
A ProMED-mail post http://www.promedmail.org
ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases http://www.isid.org
In this posting:
 Bluetongue in imported cattle, UK - Response to RFI
 BT confirmed in cattle imported from France to UK
 Updated Situation Assessment: BTV-8 situation in Europe
- (1) Bluetongue in imported cattle, UK - Response to RFI
- (2) BT confirmed in cattle imported from France to UK
- (3) Updated Situation Assessment: BTV-8 situation in Europe
 Bluetongue in imported cattle, UK - Response to RFI
Date: Thu 9 Nov 2017
From: Carrie Batten <firstname.lastname@example.org> [edited]
Re: Bluetongue - Europe (06): UK (England) ex France, bovine, RFI 20171108.5432464
I wish to comment on archive number 20171108.5432464. Readers should note the previous post 20171024.5400555.
Only 7 of the 32 animals imported were found to be positive for the presence of BTV-8 nucleic acid by real time RT-PCR. None of the positive animals were exhibiting clinical signs of disease. Testing was performed at the National Reference Laboratory for Bluetongue virus (The Pirbright institute) who can confirm BTV-4 was NOT detected.
Dr Carrie Batten
Head of Non-Vesicular Reference Laboratories
The Pirbright Institute
[We wish to gratefully acknowledge Dr Batten for this firsthand response to our RFI. In particular, excluding BTV-4 in the event.
The publication, in 20171108.5432464, included a media report from Westmorland with repeated, outdated information on the cases on the Kendal farm; ProMED regrets this oversight.
Additional information on the entire event is included in item 2. - Mod.AS
Date: Thu 9 Nov 2017 (accessed)
Source: Veterinary Record 181 (17), News & Reports - Bluetongue [summarised, edited]
Vets have been urged to be extra vigilant following the detection of bluetongue virus in cattle imported to the UK from France.
Post-import tests picked up the BTV-8 strain in cattle brought in from an assembly centre in an area of France, where multiple cases have been confirmed since September this year.
A total of 32 animals entered the country on [Tue 10 Oct 2017] destined for 2 farms in England (Preston and Kendal) and 2 in Scotland (Dumfries and Stirling).
Routine post-movement tests picked up the disease in a number of the animals and restrictions have been placed on all 4 farms.
All of the animals that tested positive or are at high risk of being infected [have been] humanely culled on farm.
Veterinary authorities will maintain movement restrictions until testing rules out spread of the virus via local midges.
A spokesperson for Defra told Veterinary Record that the department was working with the French authorities to understand the circumstances. The cattle were recently exported from an area of France where the disease is circulating, and lab testing at that destination revealed some compliance issues with the vaccination status of the cattle.
Defra says that this case acts as a reminder to farmers to make sure any animals they import from areas affected by bluetongue meet certain conditions - such as being effectively vaccinated - and have the paperwork to prove it.
It says that post-import testing has been in place since September 2015 and this is the 1st instance where such an issue has been detected.
Veterinary Record asked Defra if it was normal for cattle to be moved from an infected area without any pre-movement checks. Defra refused to respond.
The last reported case of bluetongue virus in England, Scotland or Wales was in 2007. The UK has been officially free from the disease since July 2011.
Any suspicion of Bluetongue should be reported to the APHA immediately on 03000 200 301 (England), 0300 303 8268 (Wales) and regional field services offices in Scotland, or to DAERA in Northern Ireland on 0300 200 7840. For any further advice on bluetongue, contact the Defra Helpline on 03459 33 55 77.
Castleview English Longhorns
[The above Vet Rec News item complements the picture. Intensified application of the veterinary requirements for transboundary movements of cattle within the EC, by both exporting and importing parties, may prevent the recurrence of such events.
Subscribers are referred to the commentary to the posting 20171024.5400555, concerning the rather low BTV-8 vaccination coverage in France.
Item 3 includes an updated assessment of the BTV-8 situation in France and Europe at large. - Mod.AS]
Date: Mon 6 Nov 2017
Source: DEFRA, Vet & Sci Policy Advice Team: Ref: VITT/1200 BTV-8 in Europe - updated situation assessment No.21 [edited]
1. Disease report
Since our last update, [Tue 25 Jul 2017], France has reported 474 BTV-8 positive cases, the majority of which were in 3 regions: Doubs, Jura and Cote d'Or, with the peak of reports being made in October . Nevertheless, there has been no expansion of the surveillance zone and no new cases reported from near the French northern coast.
This last week [week of Sun 29 Oct 2017], Switzerland has reported BTV-8 in 2 regions, Jura and Basel, in cattle. Single animals tested positive in herds of 90 and 58 cattle respectively, and the single animals were both culled. According to the Swiss Ministry of Agriculture, the animals were detected as part of a surveillance programme. A restriction zone covering the whole country has been put in place to allow free movement of animals around the regions, but exports to other countries must meet certain conditions.
The cases in Switzerland are not a surprise given the proximity to cases in France. Indeed, the authorities had been communicating to farmers to expect cases, to vaccinate their animals and to report any suspicious signs to their vets. Vaccination against BTV-4 and BTV-8 is allowed, but this is a voluntary measure which farmers are encouraged to take.
Recent meteorological modeling has shown there have been very few days in the last few months where the wind has been sufficiently strong or in the right direction to reach the UK mainland from the areas in France with the highest level of disease circulation. The lack of disease being reported in the North of France is the main risk mitigation factor. The cases in Switzerland, which appear to be a result of vector movement rather than live animal trade, highlight that proximity to affected areas with high levels of virus circulation and cattle density are key factors in disease transmission.
The detection of PCR positive animals in the UK which recently arrived from France from a region with high virus circulation is not confirmation of disease in UK animals. Instead these were picked up as part of our post import checks and those animals, which represented an animal health risk, were culled. This serves as a reminder that if farmers wish to import from any BTV restricted zone, vaccinating their own herd before-hand would be a sensible risk mitigation measure.
The risk of BTV incursion into UK population remains at LOW ("rare, but could occur") to reflect the low levels of infection in northern France.
We will continue to monitor the current situation in France and disseminate any further updates from the French Authorities, particularly with regards to the most recent cases.
BTV-8 vaccine has been available for the GB market since mid-July 2016, and the decision to vaccinate will be taken by the farmer, which the GB authorities have encouraged all of them to consider, in consultation with their private veterinary surgeon.
For information on bluetongue and the vaccine availability in GB, see the latest materials recently posted on line by the National Farmer's Union (NFU) at <www.nfuonline.com/bluetongue> and the latest information to encourage BTV vaccination by the Joint Action against Bluetongue (JAB) campaign.
[Byline: Helen Roberts]
Castleview English Longhorns
[While the above situation assessment deals with BTV-8, subscribers are reminded that continental France has recently suffered an outbreak of BTV-4, on its east, bordering Switzerland (see 20171107.5430114). For information on the BTV-8 and BTV-4 situation in France, updated [Thu 9 Nov 2017], please refer to the web-page of the French Ministry of Agriculture, at
http://agriculture.gouv.fr/liste-des-departements-et-des-communes-classes-en-zone-reglementee-fco (in French).
The page includes a map of France, updated [Tue 7 Nov 2017], presenting the BTV-8 foci (yellow circles) and BTV-4 focus (a green circle), and the corresponding affected areas. - Mod.AS
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at: http://healthmap.org/promed/p/40, http://healthmap.org/promed/p/100.]