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Bluetongue Vaccine Now Available for British Farmers

20 July 2016

UK - The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed that bluetongue (BTV-8) vaccine is now available from two pharmaceutical retailers to manage the risk of a BTV incursion from France.

There is a high risk of an outbreak of Bluetongue (BTV-8) towards the end of the summer as a result of infected midges being blown across the English Channel from France, where the disease is present. As the weather warms, the disease-spreading midges increase their activity levels.

Pharmaceutical companies MSD and Zoetis announced that batches of vaccine would be available from mid-July, which Defra has just confirmed.

Government Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer Simon Hall, said: "It’s fantastic news that the vaccine is now available. This is the perfect time to talk to your vet as the vaccine is the only effective tool to prevent illness.

"I am urging our livestock farmers to keep an eye out for any signs of the disease and report any suspicions to their vet and the Animal and Plant Health Agency immediately, so we can work together to reduce the possible spread of Bluetongue this summer."

British Veterinary Association (BVA) President Sean Wensley agreed with Mr Hall's recommendation to contact vets, and said: “We welcome the announcement that vaccine will be available in time to meet potential demand. This disease seriously affects animal health and welfare as well as the productivity of livestock, and vaccination is the key control.”

TheCattleSite News Desk

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