New case of bluetongue

PUBLISHED: 12:10 15 November 2007 | UPDATED: 13:04 04 May 2010

New case of bluetongue

New case of bluetongue

A SECOND case of the animal disease Bluetongue has been discovered on a farm in East Cambridgeshire. Fifth generation farmers, Alan and Roger Martin, called in Government vets on Monday after discovering one of their cows off colour on land at Chettisha

A SECOND case of the animal disease Bluetongue has been discovered on a farm in East Cambridgeshire.

Fifth generation farmers, Alan and Roger Martin, called in Government vets on Monday after discovering one of their cows "off colour" on land at Chettisham.

Bluebell, who was among a 25-strong herd owned by the brothers who run a 400-acre farm at Beald Drove, Little Downham, tested positively for the disease.

"We had been checking the cattle daily," said Alan. "We had been very vigilant and we noticed Bluebell had blisters round her nose and was eating with the side of her mouth.

"We have treated her and she is getting on fine. The rest of the herd will be tested in 10 days."

Alan, and Roger, a Little Downham parish councillor, own 130 cows and grow sugar beet, potatoes and corn at RA Farming.

The Bluetongue outbreak follows another case discovered two weeks ago in cattle at Pymoor, owned by farmers AJ Wright, of Haddenham, and a third case in Peterborough.

Cambridgeshire County Council trading standards officers have been dealing with hundreds of calls from worried farmers since the cases were discovered.

But now they have been warned they will lose £8,000 in cash help promised by the Government to deal with the extra workload.

Councils across the UK had been promised funding totalling £9.77 million from DEFRA under a funding arrangement to prevent and control animal disease following the 2001 Foot and Mouth outbreak.

An accounting mistake, however, has meant Cambridgeshire loses 10 per cent of its promised £80,000.

Cambridgeshire county councillor Victor Lucas, lead member for communities, said: "Just when the country needs this money most, we are being told to cut back due to an error on the Government's part."

But a DEFRA spokesperson said: "This year's shortfall is in large part a result of historically inaccurate forecasting by local authorities.

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