Defra has announced that the Bluetongue temporary control zones (TCZs) located in the Kent and Norfolk area have been lifted.

Starting February 19, TCZs will end in this area, while positive high-risk animals will remain restricted. Farms awaiting sampling will also stay under restriction, Defra noted.

England has seen 106 bluetongue cases across Kent, Norfolk, and Suffolk since mid-November 2023.

Defra stated no current evidence of bluetongue virus circulation in British midges due to reduced midge activity in lower temperatures, limiting virus replication and transmission, named the low vector period.

READ MORE | Bluetongue cases rise to 44 in Norfolk and Kent area

Infected animals will not be culled if showing older infection and BTV antibodies, but restrictions and surveillance persist. The UK had been bluetongue-free since 2011.

Although not harmful to humans, bluetongue affects livestock productivity. APHA ensures direct communication with premises at risk, allowing safe animal movements. Bluetongue Virus (BTV) suspicion must be reported to APHA at 0300 0200 301.