Farmers Issued Schmallenberg Vaccination Advice23 July 2013
SCOTLAND – Farmers considering using the schmallenberg virus (SBV) vaccine should be making ‘informed decisions’.
In a joint industry statement farmers have been urged to seek specialist veterinary advice by key meat and animal health organisations.
After being authorised by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate in May, the SBV vaccine remains the only one of its kind authorised anywhere in Europe.
The vaccine is based on a killed virus which provokes an antibody response. Use on pregnant animals is forbidden by the manufacturer.
According to reports from Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), the full effects of the vaccine are not known, including the period of immunity.
Above all, veterinary guidance should be sought, said Jim McLaren, QMS Chairman.
He warned that not all abortions are indicative of SBV.
Speaking on the issue last week, Sheila Voas Chief Veterinary Officer for Scotland commented: “The use of the vaccine will depend on the individual circumstances on each farm. I would urge farmers to consult with their private vet at the earliest opportunity to discuss the options best suited to their husbandry practices.”
“Before farmers take any decisions about vaccinating their animals their first step should be a discussion with their farm vet. There are a great many factors to consider and it is important they seek good advice so any use of the vaccine is informed and effective.”
Organisations supporting the vaccine warning include: Scottish Government; Quality Meat Scotland (QMS); NFU Scotland; National Sheep Association (NSA); Scottish Beef Association and the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW).