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"Bluetongue outbreak at this stage would be a huge blow" - Farron

January 28, 2008 3:00 PM

Liberal Democrat spokesman for the Countryside and MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale Tim Farron has expressed his concern at a possible bluetongue outbreak in the North West. Tests are being carried out on animals in the Manchester and North Shropshire areas, if they return positive it could mean animal movement restrictions are put in place in the region.

Mr Farron said:

"News of an outbreak at this time of year would be very worrying, given that we thought bluetongue would be dormant in the cold winter months. Whether positive or not, this emphasises the need for a vaccine for bluetongue as soon as possible and the Government needs to expend all available energy and resources in achieving this

"If these cases are confirmed, it may result in damaging restrictions being placed on previously untouched parts of the country which would cause real hardship."