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Last Updated: Friday, 28 December 2007, 19:49 GMT
Bluetongue found in imported herd
Cow generic
The disease was detected in imported cows
Scotland's first case of bluetongue virus has been found in a herd of cattle imported from Germany.

One of 35 cattle imported from a farm in Bremen tested positive for the virus following routine post-import testing undertaken by the Animal Health Agency.

The Scottish Government said as the animal was imported it did not affect Scotland's "free area" status.

Movement restrictions have been imposed on the farm near Kirkcudbright, Dumfries and Galloway.

The infected animal will be culled to minimise the risk of disease spreading.

Imported animal

A statement from the government said: "The virus has not been confirmed in Scotland nor is it circulating between susceptible animals. Vector activity is low at this time of year and in the current temperatures."

Cabinet secretary for rural affairs and environment Richard Lochhead said: "Although this is the kind of news that our farmers have been dreading, especially after a very challenging year, it is important to bear in mind that, given the circumstances of this case, Scotland continues to remain free of bluetongue disease.

"The facts are that we are currently only talking of one imported animal that has tested positive out of 35 that were imported and this case has arisen at a time of year when the chances of the disease circulating are low.

"Farmers will be hoping that this is a one-off isolated case. Clearly, it is in our livestock industry's strong interests that all farmers think very carefully about where they choose to import animals."

The remaining 34 animals tested negative for bluetongue virus which is a non-contagious, midge-borne viral disease.



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