'The weather is starting to improve and as daily average temperatures increase in mainland France and the UK, so our risk level will start to increase.'
Risk to the UK will rise as daily temperatures increase - Defra
France has reported 13 new outbreaks of bluetongue virus 8 (BTV-8) in just under a month, new figures show. Defra is warning that as daily temperatures start to increase, so does the risk of outbreaks in the UK.
There have now been 285 confirmed cases in France since September 2015, when the country reported its first outbreak in five years. The risk of the disease spreading to the UK is estimated to be up to 80 per cent, with cases most likely in late summer.
The latest report from Defra shows 13 new outbreaks at French cattle holdings since the last update on 13 May, 2016.
'Our risk level remains the same,' the report states. 'However the weather is starting to improve and as daily average temperatures increase in mainland France and the UK, so our risk level will start to increase.'
Recent cases in France show variable clinical signs that are not pathognomonic for BTV. Defra encouraged vets to note this variability when considering BTV as a possible differential diagnosis.
A vaccine will be made available for vets and farmers in Great Britain from mid-July. Farmers are being advised to speak to their vet about the potential benefits as a matter of urgency.