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21-04-2008 - Bluetongue vaccination campaign steps up a gear

Bluetongue vaccination campaign steps up a gear

8 April 2008

The JAB campaign for mass vaccination against bluetongue can step up a gear after Intervet announced its vaccine has been licensed for use in the UK. The news comes as Defra published its roll out plan and guidance notes for livestock keepers and vets.

Intervet expects to release the first three million doses to the UK in May, but is confident that it will exceed this commitment, and hopes that the May delivery will reach five million doses, starting in the most vulnerable areas in the east of England.

In a joint statement industry stakeholders for JAB said: “We are delighted the product has been approved by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). This means we now have a licensed product to work with, which means the messages about the vaccine can be much clearer.

“This is a significant step forward for the campaign, which is aimed at getting farmers behind a vaccination programme to stop bluetongue in its tracks. Farmers should identify how much vaccine they need for their livestock, they should contact their vet about ordering and talk to them about vaccine availability.”

Defra’s vaccination roll out plan for the England, which has been developed by the core group which includes industry representatives, is another important development.

JAB said “While the ultimate roll out plan has to remain flexible enough to accommodate any developments with the virus, it gives a clear indication to farmers of the current thinking of how the vaccine will be delivered and it should allow them to start planning for vaccination.

“The JAB campaign was launched less than a month ago so this news means good progress is being made and we urge farmers to talk with their vets and look out for further information about when vaccine will be available in their county.”

Notes to Editors

1. Stakeholders in the JAB partnership are the NFU, National Sheep Association, National Beef Association, British Meat Processors Association , Livestock Auctioneers Association, Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers, British Veterinary Association , Country Land and Business Association, Tenant Farmers Association, Association of Independent Meat Suppliers, Dairy UK, British Cattle Veterinary Association, the Sheep Veterinary Society, the Rare Breed Survival Trust, British Alpaca Society, British Llama Society, British Wool Marketing Board, British Simmental Society, English Beef and Lamb Executive and the Sheep Centre.

2. Defra’s roll-out plan

3. Of the 22.5 million doses, 20 million will be for use in England with 2.5 million for Wales

4. Under EU law vaccination can only take place on the Protection Zone. This zone is subject to changes depending on the disease situation

5. There is more information on the Intervet bluetongue website

6. BVA's JAB pages

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