CATTLE GENETICS and services company Genus has been awarded a DEFRA contract to provide vaccination in the event of another outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the UK.

Genus will provide emergency back-up services to the State Veterinary Service in vaccinating farmed livestock and other susceptible species if required.

Genus will be able to undertake an emergency vaccination programme within five days of an outbreak, if requested.

This equates to 150 vaccination personnel working under state veterinary guidance.

“The government would consider vaccination immediately in the event of any future outbreak of F&M,” said junior DEFRA minister Ben Bradshaw.

“The contract will ensure the capability will be there if it is decided by the government that an emergency programme of vaccination can help to tackle the outbreak and its consequences.”

The contract will run for three years with an option to extend for a further two years.