Hilary Benn has warned against importing livestock from bluetongue-infected countries, telling farmers importing livestock from such countries to ‘act carefully’.

Mr Benn, Defra secretary,  told Farmers Weekly that the industry should ‘heed calls to vaccinate against the disease’ – many farmers have abandoned plans to vaccinate against bluetongue amid fears the vaccine may affect the breeding ability of stock.

Mr Benn warned against importing livestock from bluetongue-infected countries while speaking at the Labour Party Conference, and refused to comment on the story that cattle with the BTV8 strain of bluetongue had been imported from France.  

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