Nationwide Bluetongue Vaccination Campaign for Cattle, Sheep and Goats Starts Now in Denmark

DENMARK - More than 1.5 million animals must now be vaccinated against bluetongue. This is an extension of last year's comprehensive campaign. As in 2008, vaccination of cattle, sheep and goats is obligatory
calendar icon 6 February 2009
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Bluetongue is a disease that affects cattle, sheep and goats and in recent years it has become very widespread in countries south of Denmark. A special aspect of bluetongue is that small insects spread the virus – it is not spread directly between animals. The disease does not infect people.

“Last year's campaign was effective,” says Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Eva Kjer Hansen. “There have only been 15 cases in Danish herds. Because of the experiences of the last campaign, this year’s campaign will be a little different: for one thing, the farmers can vaccinate their animals themselves, while for another the campaign lasts longer.”

The owners of all herds will soon receive information about the vaccination campaign.

“We are pleased that, in 2009, the animals can be vaccinated before they are put out to pasture and that the campaign is generally more flexible,” says Peder Philipp, the chairman of the Danish Cattle Breeders Association.

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration and the organisations behind the campaign recommend in the strongest terms that all animals are vaccinated during the spring so they are protected against the disease in the best possible way. The high season for infection from bluetongue is August to November.

Vaccination against bluetongue protects the animals from getting ill or dying from bluetongue and is the only effective way of fighting the disease. At the same time, vaccination assures the herd against the production losses that may arise if the animals are infected with bluetongue.

As in 2008, this year's campaign is the result of collaboration between the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, the Danish Cattle Breeders Association, the Danish Sheep Breeders Association and the Danish Goat Breeders Association.

The campaign starts on 15th February and runs to the end of the year.

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