The often fatal bluetongue disease which has been hitting farm animals hard in northern Europe has now appeared in Suffolk. The symptoms in a highland cow at a rare breeds farm have proved to be that of bluetongue and the animal has now been slaughtered. It is a particular kind of midge that carries the virus, fortunately there is nothing for humans to worry about.
It has been thought that it would only be a matter of time before bluetongue would arrive on our shores. Let's just hope that this is a very isolated case. With the Foot and Mouth worries this is the very last thing our farmers need.
At present there is no vaccine to counter the illness but there is some hope that one might be developed within the next 12 months.
There is now a foot and mouth scare in Hampshire. Hopefully that will be another false alarm. But these are very jittery times for our livestock farmers.