£3 Million Pledged to Keep Bluetongue Out of Scotland

UK - Richard Lochhead on Wednesday agreed to secure 12 million doses of bluetongue vaccine to protect Scotland against the spread of disease.
calendar icon 10 April 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

Subject to disease developments, a compulsory vaccination programme could be in place this winter.

Offering unprecedented support to the industry, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment agreed to:

  • order 12 million doses of the vaccine
  • pay 50 per cent of the cost from the manufacturer up to a maximum of £3 million
  • and monitor against non-compliance
Mr Lochhead said:

“This is an excellent example of the Scottish Government working in partnership with the industry to address the risk of bluetongue.

“The livestock sector has identified this disease as the biggest threat to the industry at present. Scotland is free from bluetongue and we want to keep it this way.

“Unanimous agreement was reached to accept this support as one-off first year support to farmers who will pay 50 per cent of costs this year and full costs in subsequent years.

“This is the right solution for Scotland. The programme will deliver effective disease control whilst at the same time meeting the needs of the industry.

“We have balanced the significant potential costs of disease should bluetongue arrive in Scotland with the cost of effective controls. This pro-active approach will enhance our reputation of operating the highest quality standards of animal welfare in producing top quality products.”

Jim McLaren, President of NFU Scotland, said:

“We are delighted that the Cabinet Secretary, on behalf of the Scottish Government, has recognised the seriousness of the threat of this disease to Scotland's livestock industry.

“It is essential that the vaccine is ordered immediately in order that the industry is protected from any potential bluetongue incursions this summer.

“Of equal importance is the compulsory nature of any vaccination programme as this will help to assure the 80 per cent plus coverage required for any programme to be successful is reached.”

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