October 10, 2008


Scotland to launch bluetongue vaccination in November

Scotland has announced that a compulsory vaccination programme against bluetongue disease will begin on November 3, 2008.


Last autumn, England was struck with the disease, which came from Europe. Early this year, the Scottish government pledged GBP 2.6 million to immunise about 7 million animals. The policy has so far been met with approval by the majority of farming organisations. However, Scotland has yet to have its first bluetongue case.


Jim McLaren, the president of NFU Scotland, said, "While disappointed that the disease situation has brought us to this, we accept that vaccination should go ahead this winter and beyond. By initiating this we are committing ourselves to this programme in the longer term."


Bluetongue is a viral disease spread by midges and affects cattle, sheep, deer and goats. It can result in loss of productivity and fertility in cattle.

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