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The European Council has agreed new rules that will allow member states to vaccinate animals against bluetongue in the absence of disease. At its meeting in Brussels on December 15 and 16, 2011, the agriculture and fisheries council adopted a draft directive that will update current rules on vaccination, which prevent vaccines being used in bluetongue-free zones. The new rules are intended to be in place in time for this year's vaccination campaigns. The European Parliament agreed the new rules in April last year (VR, April 16, 2011, vol 168, p 393).