Bluetongue UK - Update

UK - A new born calf has been declared as a case. Its mother was positive last autumn and is still on the same farm. This calf is positive to PCR and also has high levels of antibody as would be expected. It is not known if the calf is infective and the Institute of Animal Health are investigating this and other calves but the research is likely to take some time.
calendar icon 5 June 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

This placental transmission is not characteristic of BTV but could be a characteristic of BTV 8 in Northern Europe. This placental transmission has caused a new EU regulation on movement of females from the RZ to the Free Area and whilst this regulation is changed on a regular basis the NBA has not reproduced it for you; for planning purposes work on the basis that females over 3 months of age will not be allowed to move to the Free Area regardless of vaccination status. This is because of the difficulty of proving that the animal was not in calf when vaccinated.

Intervet have delivered the first 3million doses, which have been distributed in the PZ, ahead of schedule and we expect regular delivery to continue. The next release of vaccine will cause an expansion of the PZ and this may occur without warning. (We do not know when VMD will release batches for use and have to move quickly to get vaccine to farms and into animals so that it does what it was bought for).

Note that vaccination is allowed in the PZ, so should a new case cause the establishment of a new PZ away from the South farms in the new PZ can vaccinate. It is therefore important that regardless of your county your vet has your order for vaccine NOW.

DEFRA issued a tender for vaccine on WED 7 May. This tender is another 8 million doses for use in England and 5 million doses for Wales.(Wales will then have 7m doses). The tender is very short and should produce an order before the end of May.

The Scottish Executive has issued a tender for vaccine and expects to place an order by the end of June.

Northern Ireland has still not committed.

Anyone bringing animals in from the EU should be aware that BTV 1 is still spreading in France and that some member states are using ~Live Vaccines~.

DEFRA have said that they expect the free market to supply vaccine for 2009. If you want vaccine in the first quarter of 2009 please consider telling your vet so that he can start booking supplies. If there is a backlog on 2008 orders I am concerned we may not get a timely supply in 2009. If this appears to be the case it may be possible to persuade the Secretary of State to buy for us again.

Further Reading

       - You can visit our Bluetongue information page by clicking here.

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