A widespread ban on all cattle, sheep and other ruminants from being imported on to the island of Ireland has been imposed, after a single case of bluetongue was identified in a cow in Kent, England.

The case has also sparked a major tracing operation, with Department of Agriculture officials on both sides of the border now working to trace all cattle and sheep movements from Britain to Ireland since 1 October.

Farmers who have imported livestock since this date will be contacted by the regional veterinary office to arrange for surveillance testing.