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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Bluetongue (sheep, cattle and goats)

If you suspect disease you must contact the States Veterinary Officer immediately.


These include:

  • fever
  • tiredness 
  • lameness
  • swelling of the mouth, head and neck

Animals may die or take a long time to recover. They lose weight, their milk yield drops and may never fully recover.

Bluetongue leaflet (defra website)

Bluetongue risk assessment


The Department is recommending vaccination as Northern Europe is currently experiencing an outbreak. Expert opinion suggests it may spread to Jersey.

The States Veterinary Officer has authorised its use subject to conditions.

Bluetongue authorisation and conditions

How the disease spreads

Bluetongue is spread by midges of the culicoides species that bite the animal. It is passed from animal to midge, and midge to animal, but not animal to animal.

The disease can spread over a large area as midges fly or are blown in the winds.

Not much can be done to stop midges breeding. Keeping cattle and sheep away from breeding sites, eg poorly drained areas and dung heaps, may have a small effect in reducing exposure to the insects.

Bluetongue does not affect humans.

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