Cymru Fear Return to Circulation

WALES, UK - Livestock Board Chairman, Ed Rees, reminded farmers of the continued threat of bluetongue (serotype 8 – BTV8) to cattle and sheep at yesterdays NFU Cymru’s Livestock Board meeting.
calendar icon 11 February 2009
clock icon 2 minute read
National Farmers Union

His message was clear that farmers in the Wales cannot be complacent about the virus, report National Farmers Union Cymru. BTV8 is circulating widely in mainland Europe, particularly in France which had over 22,000 cases in 2008. This presents a serious risk of wind borne incursion of the disease or through the legal trade in animals which could result in the disease circulating again in 2009.

Ed Rees also warned members about the dangers of importing animals from areas of Europe where the disease is circulating, being that in 2008 the only reported cases of disease in the UK were in imported animals.

Urging livestock keepers across Wales to vaccinate their stock against the devastating virus Ed Rees said, “With warmer months ahead of us, Bluetongue has the potential to cause havoc to the Welsh livestock industry and this must be avoided. Therefore, it is absolutely vital that livestock keepers recognise the importance of vaccinating in order to protect their animals and their livelihoods, from this virus.

“Whilst I appreciate it is an added cost I regard it as a small price to pay for the protection and insurance against BTV8. The alternative is unthinkable and I don’t think we can afford not to vaccinate.”

Farmers present at the meeting were reminded that there is no Government compensation for any losses sustained due to bluetongue and fate is largely in their own hands as far as this disease is concerned.

He ended, “Those farmers who have not yet vaccinated should contact their vet now, order BTV8 vaccine and make time to vaccinate.”

Animals that were vaccinated in 2008, whether cattle or sheep, need just one booster jab in 2009. Cattle and sheep that were not vaccinated in 2008 should be given two and one inoculation, respectively.

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