BLUETONGUE virus has been found in imported cows on a premises near Worcester.

The 20 animals originated from within a Protection Zone in the Netherlands and were detected through Defra's routine post-import testing carried out on all Bluetongue susceptible animals entering the UK.

The farm near Worcester has been placed under restrictions, and the animals will be culled as they potentially provide a source of infection for the local midge population, and therefore other animals.

Worcestershire is within the current Bluetongue Surveillance Zone. The affected farm has not been named.

Currently there is no evidence that virus has spread in the area, therefore there will be no changes to the existing Bluetongue zones and no new zones will be established at the moment. The decision will be kept under review pending a full investigation being held on the premises.

Fred Landeg, Acting Chief Veterinary Officer said: "As with the case of Bluetongue found in an imported animal in Middlesbrough last week, this re-emphasises the importance of livestock keepers carefully considering the potential risks to UK industry as a whole from importing animals from Bluetongue Restricted Zones."