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Epizootic haemorrhagic disease (EHD) is a notifiable viral disease. It mainly affects deer, cattle, and other ruminants (including goats and sheep).

First published:
24 February 2023
Last updated:

There has never been a reported case of epizootic haemorrhagic disease in Great Britain, but outbreaks of the disease have been reported in southern Europe

EHD does not affect humans, however, it can have a significant impact on trade.

Suspicion and confirmation

Contact your local Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) office immediately at 0300 303 8268, if you suspect epizootic haemorrhagic disease.

APHA vets will investigate suspected cases.

Clinical signs

Clinical signs are only usually seen with severe infection. These include:

  • fever
  • weakness
  • lack of appetite
  • increased salivation (drooling)
  • bleeding
  • swollen red skin near the hooves
  • swollen lining of the mouth
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • mouth ulcers

In some cases, there are no obvious clinical signs that an animal is infected.

Transmission and prevention

Infection with EHD typically happens when midges carrying the disease, bite susceptible animals. The weather (especially temperature and wind direction) affects how the disease can spread.

You can help prevent the spread of EHD by practising good biosecurity on your premises.