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Dr Kenneth Noisewater

Bluetongue outbreak hits Britain

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Bluetongue outbreak hits Britain

 

A killer animal disease that has devastated continental Europe, killing millions of livestock, has been found in Britain for the first time, it emerged last night.

 

The disease, called bluetonge, was discovered in a cow on a farm near Ipswich, Suffolk. The virus, which is spread by biting midges, has caused havoc across the Continent, killing 1.8 million animals in less than a decade.

 

Experts last night warned that the disease has the portential to cause far more damage to the farming industry in Britain than the foot and mouth outbreak that has been wraught chaos across the country and from which farmers are still struggling to recover.

 

It comes just a day after foot and mouth disease was confirmed on a sixth farm in Surrey and the protection zone around it was extended into the Queen’s Estate.

 

Bluetongue has no known cure or vaccine and the most virulent strains of the virus wipe out up to 70 per cent of infected animals in two weeks. The disease, which normally infects sheep but can affect other hooved animals, has horrible effects on animals infected, starting with ulcers and mouth, nose and eyes. The infection then spreads causing swelling to the head, lameness, and internal bleeding. Breathing difficulties and death then follow.

 

Prime Minister Gordon Brown was informed of the arrival of Bluetongue at 6.30pm, only hours after Cobra meeting on the latest outbreak of foot and mouth.

 

British scientists had recently warned that it was only a matter of time before bluetongue, after rampaging north across the rest of Europe, would come to our shores and had been described as the “new nightmare” for British farmers.

 

Originally from Africa, the condition has taken advantage of the world’s rising temperatures to spread north and move Giralter, through Spain to devastate farms across Germany, France, Belgium and Holland, carried by the humble midge. The midge spreads from area to area carried by the wind.

 

Last night the fear was that the disease could wreek havoc with Britian’s already beleagured farming industry and its 35 million sheep. According to Professor Peter Mertens, head of arbovirus research at the Government’s Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright, Surrey – which was blamed for releasing the foot and mouth virus in the latest outbreak: “We have all the elements for an outbreak. Bluetongue has never been in the UK before, so we have a high-risk population with no immunity. It’s a serious worry. All it needs is the match to light the fire – the arrival of the virus, via a single infected midge, is all it takes,” he warns. “The risk has never been higher ... we are very nervous about it. The real horror story is if we get bluetongue and foot and mouth at the same time.”

 

The most deadly strain of bluetongue BTV8 has recently devastated farming areas of the Netherlands. It is thought the orgininally sub-Saharan virus can now survive winters in Europe because of our rising temperatures and is capable of surviving in southern England.

 

Britain’s first ever case means the virus has jumped 100 miles over the channel. Animal health experts were last night carrying out tests to determine whether the BTV8 strain of the virus was the one that has infected the cow. They were also carryingn out urgent investigations into how the virus could have made its way to the UK. Its arrival could see swathes of the countryside sealed off. The way it is spread by midges, instead of by animal to animal, means that exclusion zones of 100 miles may have to be set up- 15 times the size of the 6 mile zones used to contain foot and mouth.

 

Although bluetongue presents no immediate danger to humans it can be lethal in animals. Those that survive sufer severe muscle wastage and their meat can be left worthless.

 

A spokesman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “Laboratory tests have detected the presence of Bluetongue in one cow on a premises near Ipswich, Suffolk. Bluetongue is a very different infection to Foot and Mouth Disease and the strategy to control it is therefore also different. This is not a confirmed outbreak unless further investigation demonstrates that disease is circulating. “Bluetongue is a disease of animals. It does not affect humans. This is a disease of ruminants, including sheep, cattle, deer, camelids and goats. It is transmitted by the movement of midges or by movements of infected animals if they are subsequently bitten by midges.

 

“The premises where Bluetongue has been found is under restrictions. The one infected animal will be culled and epidemiological investigations are being carried out to assess the situation. This is the first time Bluetongue virus has been recorded in the UK.”

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can't they just gene splice cows with Giraffes? the long necked fellows have had blue tongue for millennia

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Isnt bluetongue what Radgi's lad gets after dom night. ;)

<_<

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What's dom night ??? :huh:

 

Dominatrix. You know your leather crotchless catsuit night <_<

sssshhh... that was a secret <_<

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Looks like I need to check my tongue:

 

A third animal has tested positive for Bluetongue disease.

 

The midge-borne virus was discovered on a premises near Lowestoft, Suffolk, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has confirmed.

 

The first two cases were found in cows at the Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm, near Ipswich.

 

The strain of the disease is the same as one that has devastated cattle and sheep across northern Europe but is not yet regarded by the UK as an outbreak.

 

On Saturday, a cow tested positive for bluetongue on a farm at Baylham and a second cow at the same farm was also slaughtered after the virus was confirmed on Monday.

 

Bluetongue is common in Mediterranean countries and has steadily spread further north in Europe over the past year.

 

Experts say the disease is spread by midges and specialists think an insect may have been blown across the Channel by strong winds.

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more farmers in line for a hand out TBH

 

when something hits pubs or clothes shops business they don't expect a hand out

 

but farmers.......................................

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more farmers in line for a hand out TBH

 

when something hits pubs or clothes shops business they don't expect a hand out

 

but farmers.......................................

 

 

Very true, but the other side of that coin is the likes of Zimbabwe.

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Guest alex
more farmers in line for a hand out TBH

 

when something hits pubs or clothes shops business they don't expect a hand out

 

but farmers.......................................

Farmers are slightly more important.

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not really - we get most of our food from overseas - cheaper that way

 

most politicians have links to farmers that's all -

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Isn't it all being used for biofuel and stuff like that? The Germans are up in arms because their beer prices might be going up from "cheap" to "below-average".

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I heard on the news today that some fields which were to be left fallow are being planted with wheat to stave of a shortage of grain.

 

What happened to the grain mountain, have the mice eaten it all?

 

Etheopia finally finished it.

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