An imported heifer from France has been detected with Bluetongue in Northern Ireland.

Although not deemed an “outbreak” until the disease is found to be circulating, farmers have been warned to remain vigilant.

The UK remains officially Bluetongue-free.

Restricted herd movements

Earlier this year, French cattle farmers were ordered to restrict their herd movements and vaccinate animals against the disease.

Bluetongue does not cause harm to humans, but can reduce milk yield and fertility in animals.

In October, imported cattle and sheep in Britain were found to have the disease.

“The Department is also tracing and testing associated herds and an epidemiological investigation has been initiated to assess the situation," according to a DAERA statement.

"This investigation will help determine if disease is circulating. However, as we are now outside the active midge period, this is highly unlikely.”