How to spot warble fly, what to do if you suspect it and measures to prevent its spread.
Warble fly mainly affects cattle. It can also affect:
Warble fly doesn’t affect humans.
The last outbreak in Great Britain was in 1990.
If you suspect the disease in Scotland, you must tell the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) immediately. Failure to do so is an offence.
Warble fly is a notifiable disease in cattle only in Scotland as the England and Wales regulations were revoked from 1 April 2015.
How to spot warble fly
The main sign of warble fly is large, soft and painful swellings on the back of the animal of up to 3 millimetres wide.
How warble fly is spread
The disease is spread by the warble fly, which lays eggs on the hide of animals.
Preventing and controlling warble fly
You can help prevent the disease by practising strict biosecurity on your premises.
If you report suspicion of warble fly in Scotland APHA vets will investigate.
If warble fly is confirmed the outbreak will be controlled in line with the Scotland contingency plan for exotic notifiable diseases.
Further information on prevention and control
Leglisation on warble fly
The main legislation on warble fly is the Warble Fly (Scotland) Order 1982.
Published: 26 August 2014
Updated: 19 June 2015
- Updated as warble fly is only a notifiable disease in Scotland since 1 April 2015.
- AHVLA documents have been re-assigned to the new Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).
- First published.