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Paice slams Defra over Bluetongue vaccine announcement

02 November 2007

UK - The Conservatives have accused Defra of ‘rushing out’ the announcement on tendering for a Bluetongue vaccine in response to pressure from MPs and the industry.

Defra Secretary Hilary Benn announced on Thursday (Nov 1) that Defra is to tender for 10 to 20 million doses of vaccine for BTV8, the strain currently circulating in England and of the EU.

But he said details of the vaccination policy and therefore the precise nature of the order were still being discussed with scientists and industry.

Shadow Agriculture Minister, Jim Paice said the Government had been ‘dilatory’ and this rushed decision had still not provided the answers for farmers.

“Only two days before this announcement the Government couldn’t answer parliamentary questions about vaccine orders,” he said,

“It is quite clear they have rushed out this announcement as a result of parliamentary and industry pressure, but the fact they have no idea how many doses to order indicates that they are still some way away from issuing the tenders.

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Source: FarmersGuardian


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