National Beef Association welcomes the move to Blue Tongue Freedom
NATIONAL BEEF ASSOCIATION
The National Beef Association welcomes the announcement by the Minister of State that GB (England, Scotland and Wales) will declare Freedom from BTV8 on Tuesday July 5th 2011 and all blue tongue restrictions on cattle and sheep exported from Great Britain will be lifted from this date.
This means that a vaccination against BTV8 will no longer be required for cattle exports and it will not be legal to use vaccination for BTV in GB from this date.
Cattle producers and vets alike will be pleased to know that once GB gains its Freedom Status on July 5th, they will not have to struggle their way through the Blue Tongue Guidance Notes. The only Blue Tongue requirement, which will continue to apply, is insecticide treatment for any movement through a restricted zone.
The Government will continue to press for changes at European
level so vaccination can be used more flexibly in future.
Vaccination has been very successful against BTV so that the virus has been removed from Northern Europe and various strains persist around the Mediterranean and will continue to do so. It is also believed that there is not enough virus circulating in Europe for a windborne incursion to happen and the risk from imported livestock is low.
BTV is a Notifiable Disease in the EU and Member States have to report cases to the EU. There has been a rumour that France was not reporting cases because the virus was endemic but this is not correct.
For information contact: Kim Haywood, NBA Director, Tel: 0131 336 1754 or Mobile: 07967 698936
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