The total number of confirmed bluetongue cases in the UK have reached 66 on 41 different premises across three counties.

Since January 26, 10 new cases of the disease have been confirmed, though the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has said there is still no evidence that the disease is currently circulating in midges in Great Britain.

Nine of these cases have been confirmed in cattle within, or near, the Norfolk temporary control zone (TCZ).

Four cases confirmed yesterday (Monday, January 29) were found in animals that were grazing within the Norfolk TCZ but had since moved.

The decision was made to not cull the positive animals, but to restrict them at their current locations and implement disease mitigation measures, Defra said.

“This reflects a recent reduction in the midge activity, reducing the risk of onward transmission,” the department said.

Two cases were confirmed in cattle on a holding near Norwich, just outside of the Norfolk TCZ, on January 27. Defra has extended the TCZ to include this area.

One further case of bluetongue was also identified in a cow on a site near Whitstable in the north-east Kent TCZ.

Movement restrictions in the TCZs apply to cattle, sheep, deer, camelids and other ruminants.

UK chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss said: “Bluetongue does not pose a threat to human health or food safety, but the disease can impact livestock farms, and cause productivity issues.

“These detections are an example of our robust disease surveillance procedures in action and it is also a clear reminder for farmers that the disease remains a threat, despite coming towards the end of the midge activity season.

“Farmers must remain vigilant and report any suspicions to APHA (the Animal and Plant Health Agency).”