A new bluetongue protection zone has been set up after a new case of the disease was discovered in Greater London, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said today.
The new 20km zone around the latest case covers parts of west and north London as well as extending into Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, Defra said.
Two further new cases have been found inside the existing bluetongue protection zone covering much of East Anglia and the South East, causing that zone to be extended further into Surrey and Cambridgeshire.
All of the animals are thought to have been infected before the "vector-free period", which was declared in December after it was judged there was a low risk of the disease spreading because of the cold weather.
There are now 75 confirmed cases of the virus, which is spread by midges and can be fatal to animals such as sheep and cows.
The cases were identified by routine testing required before animals can be moved out of the protection and surveillance zones. The surveillance zone remains in place covering much of England.
Defra said further cases could be identified in the coming weeks.
Bluetongue was first confirmed in the UK on 28 September in East Anglia. All other cases have been confined to the South East.Reuse content