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Gov implements immediate ban on importation of live cattle

It's after five confirmed bluetongue cases in Kent

An immediate ban has been placed on the importation of live sheep, cattle and goats. 

It's as these animals are susceptible to 'bluetongue', which is a viral disease. 

Five confirmed cases have been reported in the Canterbury area of Kent this month - four of which came on Sunday.

The disease is borne by midges, and can reduce milk production and cause infertility in some farm animals, but does not affect humans or food safety. 

Clare Barber MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said: ‘The department is monitoring the situation closely and has moved quickly to safeguard Manx livestock and protect the island’s bluetongue disease free status.

‘We have informed the farming community and will continue to advise them of any further developments.’ 

The Island's Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Amy Beckett said: ‘It is vitally important that we take decisive action to prevent bluetongue reaching our Island. 

‘We don’t know how long the restrictions will be in place but we are being kept up-to date by DEFRA and have already started looking at the potential for pre-import testing, which may allow us to lift the complete ban but only once we have established robust controls.’ 

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