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Bluetongue disease a further blow to farmers

September 24, 2007 3:00 PM

Local MP Tim Farron was horrified at the outbreak of bluetongue disease over the weekend at a farm in Suffolk. The news comes as the fight to contain foot and mouth continues. This will come as a huge blow to an already beleaguered industry.

Mr Farron urged the government to take this matter seriously, and massively increase efforts and resources towards finding an effective vaccine for bluetongue, that could be deployed not just in the UK but worldwide. Although it is not contagious, bluetongue is still very difficult to control as it is carried by airborne midges.

Tim Farron said:

"This first case of bluetongue disease has really come out of left-field for the farming industry, which is already having to deal with the danger of foot and mouth.

"Gordon Brown talked in his speech today about valuing the countryside, I have spoken to hundreds of farmers over the last few days in my Lake District constituency, and I can tell you they don't feel very valued. The threat of bluetongue added to the foot and mouth induced animal movement ban has placed has placed the farming industry into a position where they are looking over the precipice."