A further four cases of the bluetongue virus have been confirmed in cattle in England on Sunday by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

These cases were on two premises in the existing temporary control zone (TCZ) in Norfolk.

On Friday 5 January, an additional three cases were confirmed in the existing Kent TCZ and one case was confirmed in the Norfolk TCZ.

This brings to 44 the number of infected animals in England across 24 premises in two TCZs.

The animals have all been humanely culled to minimise the risk of onward transmission.

Temporary control zone

The temporary control zones are not being extended and movement restrictions continue to apply to cattle, sheep and other ruminants in the zone.

The cases are of bluetongue serotype 3 (BTV 3), the strain of the disease for which there is no vaccine.

Bluetongue, which affects ruminants, does not affect humans or pose a risk to food safety.

DEFRA has said there is still no evidence that the bluetongue virus is currently circulating in midges in the UK and that surveillance is ongoing.

The first bluetongue case in England resulted in a ban on cattle, sheep and other ruminants moving to the island of Ireland.

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