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be vigilant

Irish farmers warned about Bluetongue virus after outbreaks in France

There have been 657 reported outbreaks in France since the start of this year.

THE DEPARTMENT OF Agriculture has warned Irish farmers about Bluetongue virus after a high number of outbreaks in France in recent years.

Bluetongue is a viral disease of animals like cattle, sheep, goats and deer and it primarily transmitted by midges. Signs of the virus in an animal include a swollen face or swollen udders in a cow and nasal discharge, though there may be no signs at all.

In 2015 France reported the re-emergence of this virus in sheep and cattle and as of 16 June this year, there have been more than 2,000 reported outbreaks in the country, with 657 of those occurring since January 2017.

This week the department issued advice to farmers and urged them to be vigilant and ensure they are fully aware of the presenting clinical signs. They are also advised to report any suspicion of disease to their Regional Veterinary Office (RVO) without delay.

The department said particular care should be taken when importing animals from affected countries in the EU.

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