A new case of bluetongue has been detected in Britain, for the first time in Scotland, the Scottish government said Saturday.

The virus was discovered in a cow imported from a farm in Bremen, north-west Germany, but it is not thought to have spread to other animals.

It is the first time that bluetongue has spread so far north in Britain as previous outbreaks were centered around east and south-east England, where officials set up protection zones back in September.

The infected animal will be culled and movement restrictions have been set up around the farm near Kirkcudbright in southern Scotland.

The Scottish politician in charge of rural affairs and the environment, Richard Lochhead, said: "The facts are that we are currently only talking of one imported animal that has tested positive out of 35 that were imported and this case has arisen at a time of year when the chances of the disease circulating are low."

Bluetongue is spread by midges and affects ruminants but not pigs, horses or humans.