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Bluetongue: call for preparations for vaccine production to be stepped up

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THE National Sheep Association (NSA) is calling on the manufacturers of bluetongue vaccines to step up their preparations for vaccine production in light of the risk of the disease spreading from the areas of France where outbreaks of serotype 8 of the bluetongue virus (BTV-8) are currently being reported.

The NSA is also calling for an agreed control strategy to be in place to deal with BTV-8 should it reach the UK.

Phil Stocker, the NSA's chief executive, said: ‘The NSA position, which is shared by the Sheep Veterinary Society, is that we must do all we can to keep the UK clear of the virus and not allow it to become endemic if it does arrive. We should treat any opinion that this is a low impact disease with extreme caution, as while there may be some residual immunity in France, we do not believe that is the case here. The UK …

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