Two more cases of bluetongue virus have been confirmed in England as of Tuesday 9 January, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has confirmed.

This brings the total number of bluetongue cases in England to 47 infected animals on 27 premises.

Following active surveillance in the northeast Kent temporary control zone (TCZ), the two further cases of bluetongue in cattle were identified at two new locations in the existing TCZ, in the Sandwich area.

DEFRA confirmed that both locations are linked to holdings where cases have recently been found.

Bluetongue is a virus that affects cattle, sheep and other ruminants, primarily spreading by the bite of the midge.

The first case of this outbreak of bluetongue in the UK was first detected in Kent, England, in November.

Outbreaks were reported in the Netherlands and France from September, while Belgium and Germany saw their first cases in years in October.

DEFRA has said that there is still no evidence that bluetongue virus is currently circulating in midges in Britain. Surveillance is ongoing.