Publication - Advice and guidance

Lumpy skin disease: how to spot and report the disease

Published: 30 Oct 2018

Advice on what to do if you suspect there is an outbreak of this infectious disease.

Published:
30 Oct 2018
Lumpy skin disease: how to spot and report the disease

Lumpy skin disease affects cattle and water buffalo. Humans are not affected.

Latest situation: the disease has never been present in Great Britain.

Clinical signs

Infected cattle and water buffalo may have a fever and their milk production may fall. Other symptoms may include:

  • nodules: small bumps beneath the skin in the nose, mouth and on the body
  • yellowish-grey lesions (damage to the skin) on the tongue
  • swollen and tender udder or testicles
  • discharge from the eye and nose
  • salivation from the mouth
  • bulls becoming sterile and cows having abortions
  • swollen lymph nodes, for example beneath the neck

The nodules may form a hardened crust, which carries the infection.

If you suspect signs of any notifiable diseases, you must immediately notify your Scotland: field service local office at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Failure to do so is an offence. 

How lumpy skin disease is spread

Lumpy skin disease is thought to be spread by biting flies and mosquitoes, which feed on the skin lesions.

Minor routes of infection are close contact with infected animals and contaminated food and water.

Human health implications

There are no human health implications becuase the disease is not zoonotic.

How to control the disease

An outbreak will be controlled in line with the lumpy skin disease control strategy for Great Britain.

Legislation

Lumpy skin disease is covered by the Specified Diseases (Notification and Slaughter) Order 1992 and the Specified Diseases (Notification) Order 1996.

EU Council Directive 82/894/EEC on measures for the control of certain animal diseases and Council Directive 92/119/EEC on the notification of animal diseases also apply.

Biosecurity

Biosecurity is about being aware of the ways disease can spread and taking every practical measure to minimise the risk of disease spreading. The advice details practical things you can do on your farm to help prevent the introduction and spread of lumpy skin disease to and from your animals.

Contact

If you suspect signs of any notifiable diseases, you must immediately notify your Scotland: field service local office at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Failure to do so is an offence.