APHA suggest a high risk of Blue Tongue infection this year; vaccination is recommended.
With an 80% chance that bluetongue, the devastating midge-borne virus, will reach GB once again later this summer1 it is essential to vaccinate the country’s stock to prevent the disease from spreading like wild fire. Bluetongue first reached our shores in September 2007 after its destructive spread across mainland Europe. Fortunately, widespread use of bluetongue vaccine in cattle and sheep in 2008 across GB – coupled with cooler temperatures that year – successfully controlled the disease2. However, after so many years, the majority of the country’s sheep and cattle are susceptible again and needs protection urgently.
The practice is now ready to dispense the established BLUEVAC® BTV8 bluetongue vaccine, brought to you by MSD Animal Health and used successfully in Europe for a number of years. BLUEVAC® BTV8 protects for a full 12 months and is conveniently licensed for both cattle and sheep.
All animals should be given a primary course of two injections under the skin, three weeks apart. It can be used from 2.5 months of age and is safe to use both during pregnancy and lactation.
You can now vaccinate your sheep and cattle against bluetongue to protect your livelihood and that of other farmers in the UK from the looming threat of this devastating disease.
Please contact the practice on 01332 294929 to check for vaccine availability and to place an order.
- A recent Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) risk assessment suggests there is an 80% chance of Bluetongue virus (BTV8) reaching the southern counties of the UK in late summer as the result of infected midges being blown across from France to the south east of England. Risk assessment for Bluetongue Virus (BTV-8): risk assessment of entry into the United Kingdom. Qualitative Risk Assessment; DEFRA; February 2016.
- Szmaragd et al (2010) The Spread of Bluetongue Virus Serotype 8 in Great Britain and Its Control by Vaccination. PLoS ONE.