The following precautionary measures are being taken in the effort to keep bluetongue disease out of the UK:
all imports of susceptible animals from restricted areas in European Union (EU) member states affected by bluetongue are currently banned;
all susceptible animals from continental bluetongue virus (BTV)-free EU member states or zones (not including Ireland) are post-import tested for bluetongue (imports back to May 2006 were tested, and have all tested negative);
daily meteorological surveillance is undertaken to assess the risk of wind-borne spread of vectors from countries affected by the BTV8 strain to the UK;
in partnership with the farming industry, we are encouraging vigilance and early reporting of disease among farmers and veterinary practitioners (bluetongue is a notifiable disease and suspicion of disease must be reported); and
Defra is raising awareness of the disease through dissemination of information leaflets to farmers and vets, through adverts in appropriate publications, and publicity campaigns at livestock markets et cetera.