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TheBeefSite Bluetongue Disease News

JAB Renews Warning

01 October 2008

UK - With eight reported cases of infectious imported animals in the UK and over 15,000 cases of BTV8 having been reported in France so far this year, the potentially devastating threat to UK livestock and farmers livelihoods is as real as ever.

Reports from Europe indicate that only a handful of countries are yet to see virus circulating this year, with northern European countries such as Sweden recently reporting their first cases of the disease.

On a more positive note, where vaccination has taken place in countries like the Netherlands, the number of cases are significantly reduced compared with last year.

In England we have seen over 90 per cent livestock vaccinated in the East and South East. But while overall the take-up has been high there has been a disturbing drop and delay in vaccine take-up in counties recently brought into the protection zone.

So what is causing farmers to hesitate from vaccinating and protecting their livestock and livelihoods?

Industry campaign group JAB said: "One of the key reasons there is poor use of bluetongue vaccine appears to be a lack of understanding and in turn confidence by farmers, made worse by unsubstantiated rumours.

"We are aware of what is being said, especially regarding the use of vaccination at this important time in the shepherd's calendar. The reality is though, if farmers do not vaccinate, the risk to their livestock from disease, far outweighs any perceived risk which could be associated with vaccination.

"Farmers should remember that, like all vaccines, it takes time for full immunity to be reached after vaccination (21 days and of course for cattle this is after the second dose) which is why it is imperative that farmers vaccinate now.

"This is a very cost effective insurance for farmers to protect their livestock against bluetongue - so don't hesitate, vaccinate!"

TheCattleSite News Desk


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