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Bluetongue: Vaccination Not Prevarication

26 October 2007

UK - With the announcement of the 50th confirmed case of Bluetongue in the UK, the CLA is repeating calls for the rapid development of vaccine against the disease, reports Farming UK.
Douglas Chalmers, Director CLA North said, "The fiftieth case really does emphasise that this virus is now established, but this does not come as a surprise. The entire country lies exposed to further spread, and we would be naive to simply rely on the onset of colder weather to halt its progress. Our plan must include the development and release of a vaccine for the BTV8 strain now. Whatever resources needed should be evaluated against the likely cost to an industry already hammered by the lost income of restrictions brought in initially by the Foot and Mouth outbreaks. "This is already a pan-European problem of huge proportions, but our Government's responsibility is to our farmers and their livestock, and to the other businesses whose livelihoods are threatened. The scientists suggest that by cramming seven years work into six months we could have a vaccine available by early next summer. But Defra must make a firm commitment to vaccination now".


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