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Bluetongue Disease

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he estimates Herefordshire will become part of the bluetongue protection zone; and when Herefordshire farmers will receive the bluetongue vaccine. (206317)

In accordance with the strategy for rolling out vaccination across England, which has been developed with a core group of industry stakeholders, the protection zone will be expanded at regular intervals over the summer, enabling vaccination to take place on a progressive basis. The strategy, which splits England into priority areas, is designed to be flexible, taking into account the delivery of vaccine, take-up in the existing protection zone, epidemiological information and the location of new disease, when it recurs.

Under the order with Intervet, vaccine will arrive in regular deliveries until the end of August. Intervet is currently ahead of schedule. We cannot specify at this stage when vaccination will be rolled out into Herefordshire. However, we are issuing regular information bulletins to enable the industry to plan as far ahead as is possible.

The strategy, map of priority areas and information bulletins are available on the DEFRA website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/notifiable/bluetongue/control/vaccination/vaccination-rolloutplan.htm

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will ensure that the bluetongue vaccine is administered in all parts of the country by 15 July 2008. (206047)

[holding answer 16 May 2008]: The UK was the first EU member state to order vaccine for BTV-8, and received its first batches from Intervet on 30 April, ahead of schedule, for use in the protection zone. We aim to get vaccine to as wide an area as possible, as it becomes available from the manufacturer, in order to help reduce the impact of the disease on industry and to free up movements of livestock. Under the order with Intervet, vaccine is being delivered on a regular basis until the end of August. The strategy for roll-out of vaccination has been developed in partnership with a core group of industry stakeholders.

On 7 May, DEFRA announced, on the understanding that the industry would achieve mass vaccination against bluetongue, that it is tendering for further vaccine supplies for use over the summer.