Publication - Advice and guidance

Warble fly: how to spot and report the disease

Published: 28 Oct 2018

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

Published:
28 Oct 2018
Warble fly: how to spot and report the disease

Warble fly mainly affects cattle. It can also affect horses and deer. Warble fly does not affect humans.

Latest situation: the last outbreak in Great Britain was in 1990.

Clinical signs

The main sign of warble fly is large, soft and painful swellings on the back of the animal of up to 3mm wide.

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 warble fly is spread

The disease is spread by the warble fly, which lays eggs on the hide of animals.

Human health implications

There are no human health implications, although there have been some isolated cases of accidental infection of laboratory personnel working with the virus.

Disease control

If warble fly is confirmed, the outbreak will be controlled in line with the contingency framework for exotic notifiable animal diseases.

An approved list of products to treat warble fly can be found on the Veterinary Medicines Directorate product information database.

Legislation

The main legislation on warble fly is the Warble Fly (Scotland) Order 1982.

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 warble fly 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.