News stories about the use of Butox for parasite and disease vector control and about the transmission of Bluetongue to cattle and sheep.
The National Arbovirus Monitoring Program has changed its bluetongue virus boundaries, after the detection of infected cattle on a Pilbara station in Western Australia.
The discovery will mean an extra 20 stations in the region will no longer be able to sell stock to markets in Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Bluetongue is a sub-tropical virus that's carried by midges.
It mainly affects sheep and goats, but it can also be carried by cattle.
Dr Tony Higgs, from the WA Department of Agriculture and Food, says the 20 stations were only last year  classified as being free of bluetongue, but unfortunately are now back on the infected areas list.
It has been agreed with the European Commission that as from 12 Jun 2010 Great Britain (GB) will change its status from a BTV-8 Protection Zone to a BTV-8 Lower Risk Zone (LRZ). A LRZ is an option within the bluetongue regulations which enables Member States that do not have circulating disease to allow their livestock holders to vaccinate against bluetongue. It also imposes tighter controls on animals brought into the country from 'confluent zones' (zones of the same BTV serotype) to help keep disease out.
The LRZ is an excellent step toward full eradication of this disease and will provide Great Britain with additional protection from imports from other countries that are currently in the same BTV zone as us. We are monitoring the bluetongue situation in the rest of the European Union, particularly to be aware of the risk of new incursions from wind-borne infected midges. In the meantime we must not be complacent and we continue to encourage livestock holders to remain vigilant for disease and to continue vaccinating their livestock.
The new zone will mean a change to the requirements for livestock movements into GB. See the movement and guidance page for more
information on the DEFRA website.
Jim Paice the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food has responded:
"This is a great result that speaks volumes for the work done by farmers and vets, who've worked with the Government to achieve this Lower Risk Zone status for bluetongue. It will take the pressure off livestock producers but they must remain vigilant and anyone importing stock must realise that they are responsible for ensuring they are not importing disease."
The Chief Veterinary Officer has responded:
"The news from the Standing Committee for the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) that Great Britain has achieved Lower Risk Zone status is testament to the excellent cooperation between industry and government demonstrated from the earliest days of 2007's bluetongue outbreak. We have remained in a bluetongue Protection Zone since the 1st case was confirmed and the efforts of responsible livestock owners and vets in vaccinating stock and the surveillance work by Animal Health, the Veterinary Laboratories Agency, and the Institute for Animal Health has allowed us to successfully apply for this revised status.
"But we cannot become complacent, and I'd encourage farmers and vets to continue to vaccinate their livestock and remain vigilant for disease while additional targeted surveillance continues in the higher risk areas."
See the DEFRA website for the full press release.
Information received on 17 May 2010 from Mr Kassem Nasser Al-Qahtani, Director of Dept of Animal Resources, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture, Department of Animal resources, DOHA, Qatar
Summary of report
Report type: Immediate notification
Start date: 15 Apr 2010
Date of 1st confirmation of the event: 11 May 2010 Report date: 16 May 2010 Date submitted to OIE: 17 May 2010 Reason for notification: 1st occurrence of a listed disease Manifestation of disease: Clinical disease Causal agent: Bluetongue virus
Nature of diagnosis: Clinical, Laboratory (basic), Laboratory (advanced), Necropsy
This event pertains to the whole country
New outbreaks Summary of outbreaks
Total outbreaks: 2 New outbreaks Outbreak 1: UMM Al-Amad, UMM Al-Amad, UMM SALAL, UMM SALAL Date of start of the outbreak: 15 Apr 2010 Outbreak status: Continuing (or date resolved not provided) Epidemiological unit: Farm Affected animals Species / Susceptible / Cases / Deaths / Destroyed / Slaughtered Sheep / 400 / 12 / 2 / 0 / 0 Affected Population: The affected animals suffered from fever and cyanosed tongue.
For the full report see the OIE website
Jemere Bekele, Kassahun Asmare, Getachew Abebe, Gelagay Ayelet, Esayas Gelaye
Veterinary Parasitology 168 (2010) 177–184
A study to determine if Butox 7.5 pour-on remains effective when test animals are made thoroughly wet twice weekly over a period of 28 days.