DEFRA is continuing to oppose the use of a bird flu vaccine even though an H5-strain product has been made available this week.

Intervet announced that its avian influenza vaccine Nobilis Influenza, which is being used to tackle the Asian outbreak, has received official marketing authorisation from the UK authorities.

Significant development

General manager Jim Hungerford said: “This is a significant development for poultry producers and one that would undoubtedly reduce the spread of the disease should it ever reach the UK poultry population.”

But speaking to Farmers Weekly, DEFRA confirmed that its contingency plan remained unaffected by the news.

“Philosophically, we have no objection to vaccination, but there are a number of technical and practical difficulties.

So our opposition to its widespread use has not changed.”