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Disease surveillance in England and Wales, April 2019

Statistics from

APHA disease Surveillance report headlines

  • Reports from France of congenital infection of calves with bluetongue virus serotype 8

  • Poor quality forage leads to abortions in cattle

  • Inadvertent intravascular injection of a macrocyclic lactone in a ewe

  • Clostridial enteritis in neonatal piglets

  • Intestinal spirochaetosis in ratites

Highlights from the scanning surveillance network


Abortions attributed to poor quality forage

Several APHA Veterinary Investigation Centres (VICs) and partner postmortem examination providers reported abortions in cattle caused by Listeria species (usually Listeria monocytogenes), Bacillus licheniformis or Aspergillus fumigatus. These organisms are widespread in the environment and are consequently not uncommon contaminants of forage.

Infection in cattle by these organisms is often associated with the feeding of poor quality forage, although other feeds such as brewers grains can also become contaminated. Once the causative agent has been identified, it is important to change the feed offered to pregnant animals to good quality forage or other feeds to prevent further disease.

Losses can be significant where listerial infection is identified: seven abortions were recorded in one Cheshire dairy herd of 500 cows; three abortions occurred in a second Cheshire dairy herd of 130 cows; and a single abortion was confirmed in a 43-cow Shropshire suckler herd.

About this report

This report is produced each month by the APHA Surveillance Intelligence Unit and the six Species Expert Groups (livestock and wildlife). The international horizon-scanning summaries are produced by the Defra/APHA International Disease Monitoring (IDM) team, notifiable disease reports by the APHA Veterinary Exotic and Notifiable Disease Unit (VENDU), and threat analysis by the cross-agency Veterinary Risk Group (VRG). The report is drawn from scanning surveillance information, data and reports produced by the APHA Veterinary Investigation Centres and non-APHA partner postmortem examination providers contributing to the VIDA database and complying with standardised diagnostic and laboratory testing criteria. Other livestock and wildlife scanning surveillance reports may also be found at

Significant problems can also be attributed to …

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