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Update on the Use of Vaccination Against Bluetongue

03 October 2012

UK - Changes to the use of approved inactivated Bluetongue vaccines to help protect against the disease in England, Scotland and Wales have been agreed.

The use of approved inactivated vaccines in Bluetongue free areas is now permitted in England and Scotland and will be permitted in Wales from 10 October 2012. Live attenuated vaccines, however, are not permitted as they do not have marketing authorisations for use in the UK due to the risk of reversion to virulence and subsequent disease spread.

In England, the the Bluetongue (Amendment) Regulations 2012 came into effect on 24 August 2012 and amend the Bluetongue Regulations 2008. On the basis of a Veterinary Risk Assessment these Regulations now permit the use of inactivated Bluetongue vaccines in Bluetongue free areas. A General Licence (EXD568(BT)(E) has been issued to permit vaccination using inactivated vaccines with a marketing authorisation granted by the European Medicines Agency to protect against Bluetongue serotypes 1, 2, 4 and 8.

In Scotland, the Bluetongue (Scotland) Order 2012 will come into effect on 24 September 2012.On the basis of a Veterinary Risk Assessment this Order now permits vaccination against all Bluetongue serotypes within Bluetongue free areas using an inactivated Bluetongue vaccine approved by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) or EU. A Declaratory Order to permit the use of inactivated Bluetongue vaccines has been issued by Scottish Government.

In Wales, the Bluetongue (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 will come into force on 10 October 2012. On the basis of a Veterinary Risk Assessment these Regulations will permit the use of vaccination against all Bluetongue serotypes within Bluetongue free areas using inactivated vaccines with marketing authorisation granted by the European Medicines Agency.

The Veterinary Risk Assessment and a General Licence to permit the use of vaccine will be published on the Welsh Government website, alongside the amending Regulations.

However, until The Bluetongue (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 come into force on 10 October 2012, the use of vaccination against Bluetongue remains prohibited in Wales.

The use of voluntary vaccination against Bluetongue will not be allowed in either Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. However, trade of vaccinated animals to any part of Ireland will not be affected provided that any vaccination met European requirements.

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