Bluetongue vaccine now available
Bluetongue vaccines for sheep and cattle are now available across Britain, with supplies approved for use in vet practices.
There is a high risk of an outbreak of Bluetongue (BTV-8) towards the end of the summer as a result of infected midges being blown across the English Channel from France – the disease affects all ruminants, but particularly cattle and sheep.
Farmers are being encouraged to talk to their vets to decide if the vaccine could help their businesses. It has to be given by injection twice (three weeks apart) in cattle and sheep, so it can take up to six weeks for the animal to be fully immune. Two companies, Zoetis and MSD, have announced that they are making a vaccine available in the UK.
Zoetis’s Zulvac 8 Bovis and Ovis vaccines are now available, with MSD Animal Health set to deliver its Bluevac BTV8, a single vaccine for both sheep and cattle, in the coming days. Both suppliers are confident there is enough vaccine to meet demand so that all farmers who wish to are able to vaccinate their animals now.
Farmers and vets who suspect bluetongue must report it immediately to the Animal and Plant Health Agency on 03000 200 301.