December 18, 2008
UK's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has announced it will not support the cost of bluetongue vaccine supplies in 2009.
Farming and Environment minister Jane Kennedy said DEFRA would not underwrite the cost of producing the vaccine.
Kennedy said there were 12 million doses of the vaccine available for use next year, subject to expiry dates, and urged farmers to make use of them.
She said with the risks of diseases re-emerging in EU, farmers should not be complacent.
To ensure vaccine is available at the most convenient time, she encouraged farmers to place their orders early and plan ahead.
Vaccine is available across EU so livestock keepers can plan vaccination in line with their normal farming and treatment schedules.
Vaccinating earlier is essential before the risk of a spread increases with the onset of warmer weather.
It takes six weeks for cattle to acquire immunity after vaccination.