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Bluetongue Disease: Disease Control

Volume 470: debated on Wednesday 23 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what bluetongue movement restrictions have been relaxed following the declaration of a vector-free period for bluetongue; and if he will make a statement. (180179)

The vector-free period is a time during the winter when evidence shows that midge activity is at its lowest and when there is no evidence of transmission of disease by midges. The vector-free period began on 20 December 2007. This means that movements to live out of the protection and surveillance zones can take place under strict conditions, including pre-movement testing. In addition, the strict timing conditions for movements to slaughter in the free area have been removed during the vector-free period. Further information can be found on the bluetongue pages of the DEFRA website.

Based on historical data, this period may continue into March 2008, but will be kept under review in the light of midge activity and weather conditions.