There have been recent regional alterations in the global distribution of BTV infection, particularly in Europe. It is proposed that climate change is responsible for these events through its impact on vector midges. However, the role of anthropogenic factors in mediating emergence of BTV into new areas remains poorly defined; for example, it is not clear to what extent anthropogenic factors were responsible for the recent translocation to northern and eastern Europe of live attenuated vaccine viruses and an especially virulent strain of BTV-8 with distinctive properties. Without thorough characterisation of all environmental and anthropogenic drivers of the recent emergence of BT in northern Europe and elsewhere, it is difficult to predict what the future holds in terms of global emergence of BTV infection. Accurate and convenient laboratory tests are available for the sensitive and specific serological and virological diagnosis of BTV infection and confirmation of BT in animals. Prevention and control strategies for BT are largely reactive in nature, and typically are reliant on vaccination of susceptible livestock and restrictions on animal trade and movement.