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Vaccine May Not Make Britain Immune From Bluetongue

02 September 2008

UK - Farmers must not assume vaccination will make Britain totally immune from bluetongue, Neil Parish MEP, Conservative chairman of the European Parliament's agriculture committee, said today after the first cases in the UK this year.
Earlier this week, two rams imported from France to East Sussex were found to carry the disease. Today, Defra has identified another eight cases in cattle brought to a farm near Tiverton, Devon, which originated from within a bluetongue protection zone in Germany. The farmer at the Devon farm is currently disputing Defra's claims, saying he believes the tests are simply showing up antibodies from when the animals were vaccinated.

Mr Parish said:

"Whether or not the Devon farmer's cattle are infected with the disease, these latest cases still represent a stark reminder that farmers must remain on their guard.

"Farmers importing cattle into the UK must be certain of their health status, to maintain a level of confidence in the farming community.

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Source: Farming UK


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