Wales gets go ahead for bluetongue vaccination

Welsh farmers have been called on to vaccinate their livestock at the earliest opportunity following conformation that the whole of Wales will be declared a bluetongue protection zone from Monday 1 September.

Farmers’ Union of Wales president Gareth Vaughan urged farmers to vaccinate stock after DEFRA announced that eight cases of bluetongue  had been confirmed in imported cattle in Tiverton, Devon.

Mr Vaughan said: “For the first time this year we have seen cases of BTV8 in the UK, with three infected premises confirmed in the past week. The disease is now on our doorstep and from Monday Welsh farmers will be able to take action to minimise the risk to their livestock.

“I therefore urge farmers who have not yet ordered vaccine from their vets to do so immediately. It is expected that vaccine supplies will become available within days, with further batches arriving over the coming weeks.”

The announcement coincides with Wales’ busiest time in terms of crucial livestock sales, which are desperately needed after the disruption caused by foot and mouth disease last year.