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General Seasonal Guidance

Although I am no longer the BLS Health & Welfare Welfare Officer, I don’t wish to sever all ties so I thought I would remind those of you who need reminding, of things to take note of at this time of year.
1. Due to the mild wet weather we have all be experiencing, please keep an eye out for liver fluke. Keep a good eye on your animals and look out for abnormal behavior such as progressive loss of body condition, anemia, pale membranes and in severe cases swelling below the jaw. Liver fluke is easily treated so keep your eyes open for signs. If you are worried, please talk to your vet. A simple fecal worm count for Liver Fluke can be done by your vet. if you are at all concerned.

2.    Keep a keen eye on your animals’ feet.  With the wet weather we have had this winter, with more forecasted to come, camelids can suffer with foot problems. If you think there may be a problem, don’t wait to see if it clears up on its own. Get professional advice from your vet as foot problems in camelids can take a long time to get over if left for any length of time.

3. As some of you may have read in the press, Schmallenberg virus has hit the UK again with a vengeance. To date it has been found in lambs in the North East of England, North Yorkshire, Wales, the South East and South West. The mild weather towards the end of last year were perfect for the midge-borne virus to breed and, therefore, prolong the period of infection. All livestock owners are being urged to submit new born stock with suspected Schmallenberg Virus for post mortem. This is so Government records can be kept up to date. At present, there is no vaccine available for Schmallenberg Virus
( It is only spread by the midge and not animal to animal. If one of your animals experience an unexplained miscarriage or gives birth to a deformed cria, please contact your vet. The more information available will help us all.

4.    Don’t forget, never use left over hard feed from the winter. The food can produce toxins if kept for any length of time that can harm your animals. 

5.    Please think about ways you can raise money for the BLS Welfare fund. All monies raised is ring fenced especially for welfare of our beautiful animals.
Nutfield Park Farm, South Nutfield, REDHILL, Surrey  RH1 5PA     Tel: 

Bluetongue update

BTV-8 in France
  • France has continued to report cases of BTV-8 and the zones have increased.
  • In addition, the “seasonally free zone” status has been lifted in several regions.
  • There is a slight increase in area of the restriction zone towards the north but no significant
  • geographical spread of disease towards the north.
  • The risk to the UK is unchanged at present but we expect the situation to continue to evolve.
  • Further details :
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animal and Plant Health Agency
Veterinary & Science Policy Advice Team - International Disease Monitoring

Updated Situation Assessment No.5

Bluetongue virus (BTV-8) in France
15th April 2016 Ref: VITT/1200 BTV-8 in France

Disease Report

France has now reported a total of 240 outbreaks of BTV-8, which is 15 new outbreaks
and two new regions now affected: Averyron, Cher, Doubs, Haute Marne, Haute Saone
and Haute Savoie since our last update in March 2015 (OIE, 2016; see map). As a result,
the restriction zones have been increased in size again, towards the west of the country
with small increments in the northern reaches of the zones (Ministère de L’Agriculture
(FR), 2016). All the recent outbreaks are in cattle holdings, detected by surveillance
activities, not as reports of clinical disease in animals (either cattle or sheep). This
continues to support the evidence that BTV-8 presents with few clinical signs in cattle. The
“seasonally free zone” status of several regions has now been lifted as vector activity has
increased or as cases are detected.

Situation Assessment
There is no significant information to report except for the lifting of the “seasonally free
zone” status in several regions and the sporadic cases found in new regions. These could
still be the result of infection last year or movement of affected animals within the large
restriction zone which is allowed without vaccination. As the vector season progresses,
virus circulation, representing re-emergence of disease becomes more likely.
Our risk level remains the same. We will continue to monitor the current situation in France
and report any further updates from their Authorities.
Dr Helen Roberts
Jonathan Smith

Toxic Plants

A useful article in relation to toxic and poisonous plants which recently appeared in the LlamaLink is available to Members in the Members only area of the Forum under the heading "Llama Health - Info"

Bluetonque update

Bluetongue serotype 8 (BTV-8) disease risk assessment and associated press release published on 12 February:
    France has continued to report Bluetongue disease serotype 8 (BTV-8) over the winter months; there are now 173 affected holdings in Central and Southern France, mainly cattle.
    Using a combination of modelling and expert opinion we have estimated the risk to the UK over the coming months.
    There is considerable uncertainty at present and the risk will change as the season progresses, so this assessment will be updated accordingly.
    The area most at risk from midge-borne incursion will be the South and Southeast of England.
    Incursion and spread will depend on the weather (wind direction and temperature) and the immune status of the livestock exposed.
    Vaccination is the best control option and will have the dual benefit of reducing both viraemia (preventing onward transmission) and clinical signs in the individual animal.
The risk assessment is available at:
We have also issued a press release which is available at:

Farming Recovery Fund

Farming Recovery Fund after Floods
Note: Camelids may not necessarily come under this scheme but, if you have been affected by the flooding, it is worth talking to your local Rural Payments Agency for advice.
Farming Minister George Eustice has urged farmers wanting support to restore farmland damaged by December’s storms to get their applications in as soon as possible before the 1 April deadline in order to access vital funds sooner.
All farmers in Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Durham or Northumberland who have suffered losses as a result of flooding caused by Storm Desmond or Storm Eva are eligible to apply for support grants of up to £20,000.
Farmers suffering from uninsurable losses can apply for Farming Recovery Fund grants via the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to help restore farmland, rebuild tracks and repair drains and reinstate boundaries.
Farming Minister George Eustice said:
These payments are part of a wider £200 million package of government support set up to help communities affected by the devastating floods in Northern England. The grants could make a real difference to farm businesses trying to get back on their feet.
So far 107 applications worth over £1.1 million have been submitted to the RPA and the agency has been acting swiftly and doing a great job approving applications within 10 working days.
But I want every eligible flood-affected farmer to be able to access this vital money as soon as possible to help them get back to normal. Help is at hand via the Rural Services Helpline and farmers wanting support to apply should call 03000 200 301.
Once all checks are completed, the RPA can approve an application and farmers can claim. Payments against valid claims will be paid directly into bank accounts within 5 working days.
This fund covers a range of restoration and repair works including:
    the restoration of productive stock proof grassland
    the restoration of productive arable and horticultural land
    the restoration of field access or track ways, fencing or gates or water troughs
    the restoration of drainage on flood-damaged holdings
    damage to agricultural machinery that cannot be insured
    damage to agricultural buildings that cannot be insured