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Bluetongue Disease: Disease Control

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to promote uptake of the bluetongue vaccination among farmers. (196436)

[holding answer 25 March 2008]: The emergency bluetongue vaccination plan, developed in close collaboration with a core group of industry stakeholders, outlines how mass vaccination can be best achieved through a voluntary approach. The plan will be supported by a sustained, intensive and widespread campaign promoting the benefits of vaccination, led by the farming industry in partnership with the Government and veterinary organisations.

The campaign will include reports in farming, veterinary and national media, regional meetings and the distribution of information at livestock auction markets. Known infected premises will be targeted directly through promotional activity because experience from mainland Europe and advice from epidemiologists suggests that infected premises will be the most likely source of infection when the disease re-emerges later this year.