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NFU CYMRU Welcomes Intention to Declare Wales a Bluetongue Protection Zone

07 August 2008
National Farmers Union

UK - NFU Cymru has welcomed and supports the Welsh Assembly Government’s announcement to declare the whole of Wales a Bluetongue Protection Zone as opposed to introducing a gradual roll-out of the zone by county.

Dai Davies, President of NFU Cymru said, “There has been a tremendous upsurge in the number of new cases of Bluetongue on the continent and particularly in France with nearly 900 cases over the last week. Although we have not yet seen ‘new’ disease in the UK this year and the measures in place are designed to contain the spread we cannot afford to be complacent or apathetic in Wales about vaccinating our animals. This is the only way we can safeguard our stock and protect ourselves from the devastating economic consequences of this disease once it strikes.”

The Welsh Assembly Government expects Wales to be declared a Bluetongue Protection Zone around the end of August or the beginning of September. The declaration will be subject to the availability of further consignments of Bluetongue vaccine and no new outbreak of the disease during the interim. Clearly a balance has to be struck between measures to protect the industry from this awful disease and not creating chaos during our peak marketing period.

Dai Davies said, “While we are waiting for the Protection Zone to be announced I would urge all livestock keepers across Wales to be proactive and register for vaccine with their local vet if they have not already done so. While I appreciate the vaccine will be an added and unwanted cost to your business I regard it as a small price to pay for the protection and insurance against Bluetongue that it will provide us with as individual farmers. The alternative is unthinkable. I remain firmly of the view that we cannot afford not to vaccinate.”

A detailed question and answer briefing is available for members to view on NFU Cymru’s website: www.nfu-cymru.org.uk or alternatively members may obtain paper copies from their local Group Secretary office. Useful information is also contained on the Welsh Assembly Government website: www.wales.gov.uk or the Defra website: www.defra.gov.uk.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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