bluetongue 4

The infuriating niggle-niggle that keeps irritating and scratching persistently away in my mind’s eye is ‘you!-you-ostrich-head-in-the-sand’ and ‘maybe-if-I-look-from-behind-my-hands-it-won’t-happen’ as well as the ‘if-I-squint-I-might-not-really-see-what-I’m-looking-at’. I don’t know if you experience them…those irksome posters that march across your field of vision making sure you are perpetually aware of a subject you really don’t want to think about. This particular no-no is, of course, Bluetongue. And no, it won’t go away however much I will it.

As I breathe deeply, sigh and marvel at the fabulous weather of the last few days, another part of me is scanning for midges and hoping that the cold, frosty mornings and chilly Easterly wind might give us a few more weeks grace. Might, miracles of miracles, allow us to evade the next month of certain infestation and infection. At least, get us a little bit nearer the promised vaccination.

I’m itching – operative word here – to get the cows out. But if cold wet rain, sleet and snow – in fact a ‘fimble-winter’ – is the recipe for that miracle, well, bring it on!

The day before yesterday the midges were biting…and hard. The cows were careering about, bellowing and kicking; a heavily fleeced sheep cast herself itching; and the rams decided that the persistent irritation obviously originated from one of the others which resulted in a bloody battle. I also frenziedly scratched and pulled at my hair. It hasn’t been too bad since then.

This evening I’m attending a talk arranged by my vets on Bluetongue. The speakers will be a Dutch vet who has first hand experience, Intervet, the vaccine manufactures and possibly a vet from Animal Health. I wait to see what, if anything, I can do.