NORTHERN Irish farmers buying livestock in Great Britain are being told it could be months until their animals can be taken home.

The outbreak of the disease Bluetongue in the south of England has halted trade with Northern Ireland as remains in a customs union with the EU.

Neil Wilson, Executive Director of IAAS: “We are following the rules that are in place regarding the bluetongue outbreak. We would be pleased to see some regionalisation put in place that recognises the lower risk posed in Scotland, however, we understand that this is a challenging situation and it may take some time to resolve. In the meantime, we will continue to take Government advice on animal exports.”

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Following active surveillance within the temporary control zone (TCZ) near Canterbury, Kent, two further cases have been identified taking the total number of cases to seven. Both cases are linked to a holding with previously confirmed cases of bluetongue serotype 3 (BTV-3).

Farmers can access and call the dedicated bluetongue hotline to get advice or ask questions linked to the current situation – call the bluetongue hotline on 024 7771 0386.