Vaccine availability is great news for British farmers

The NFU has welcomed the news that Bluetongue vaccine will be available from mid-July, and it is now telling farmers to speak to their vets as a matter of urgency.

MSD Health has signed an agreement with CZ Veterinaria SA to distribute its BLUEVAC BTV8 vaccine throughout Great Britain.

The vaccines are being produced by Zoetis, Zulvac® 8 Bovis and Zulvac® 8 Ovis.

NFU livestock chairman Charles Sercombe said: “This is really welcome news for the industry and we strongly urge farmers to discuss vaccination with their vet in order to fully understand the risk to their business considering their system and geography.

“These conversations should be ongoing because as the situation in France and mainland Europe changes, the risk will change in the UK.

“We are calling on manufacturers and vets to be clear on the vaccine pricing and availability. Farmers will base decisions on whether to vaccinate a number of factors, with price and availability featuring highly.”

Defra has analysed the risk to stock and the UK is at risk of an outbreak during late summer rated the most likely – the probability of incursion is five to ten per cent in May, 33-60 per cent in July and 80 per cent in September.

The Joint campaign Against Bluetongue (JAB)1 has put together a leaflet and poster to highlight the signs of Bluetongue and how farmers can be proactive.

Further activity is currently being planned to ensure farmers, vets, animal health advisers and wider industry are fully informed with the latest situation and veterinary advice.

We would encourage all farmers to visit the NFU website which contains all the latest information for BTV3.