Bluetongue hotline launches for farmers

Farmers in and around the Temporary Control Zone (TCZ), can now access and call a dedicated bluetongue hotline to get advice or ask questions linked to the current situation.

After a case of bluetongue serotype 3 was confirmed in Kent, a hotline has been launched to support affected farmers.

The case was confirmed near Canterbury on the 11th November and is the first case of the emerging strain BTV-3 in England.

The new bluetongue hotline will be available for all farmers and animal keepers from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday on 024 7771 0386. NFU members can also access the CallFirst hotline: 0370 845 8458.

Farmers will be signposted to the Ruminant Health & Welfare (RH&W) bluetongue hub for the most up-to-date bluetongue information, Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) for queries relating to surveillance testing and Defra for details on available licenses for any animal movements.

Surveillance is ongoing in the 10km TCZ following the BTV-3 case, says Dr Joseph Henry, chair of the RH&W bluetongue working group and president of the Sheep Veterinary Society.

“If you farm animals in or around the TCZ, or are a smallholder with sheep, cattle or camelids, please do ensure you are registered with your paperwork up-to-date, to allow routine disease surveillance to be undertaken so we can build an accurate picture of the disease situation.”

For more information about registering , visit Register land you use to keep livestock – GOV.UK ( For the latest advice on legislation around animal movements and licenses, visit the RH&W bluetongue hub Bluetongue Virus – Ruminant Health & Welfare (

In the UK, bluetongue, including BTV-3, is a notifiable disease, so anyone suspecting the disease must take action and report it to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). 

22nd November 2023

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