The BVA has welcomed Defra Secretary of Sate Hilary Benn's announcement on the arrival of the first batch of Bovilis® BTv8 vaccine in the UK.

Congratulating Intervet on the speed with which the vaccine had been developed BVA President Nick Blayney said "this news represents a crucial stage in our fight against Bluetongue. The last few months have been a particularly busy time as the end of the vector-free period approached bringing with it the threat of more cases of Bluetongue. BTv8 is devastating in its second season and the BVA was delighted to join with organisations from across the livestock sector to launch the Joint campaign Against Bluetongue (JAB).

"Our aim has been to achieve the mass vaccination of Bluetongue susceptible animals, including goats and camelids and since the veterinary profession is the corner stone of the vaccination programme, with responsibility for vaccine delivery, proper usage and monitoring for efficacy, BVA has been in overdrive through much of March and April trying to ensure that vets were fully up to speed in advance of the arrival of the vaccine. Now that the vaccine is here, having been granted a provisional marketing authorisation for use inside Protection Zones and classified as a POM-V, we have further updated our advice to the profession. Our one-page summary sets out key considerations for vets including meeting the "under our care" prescribing requirements, movement controls, doses, off-label use, distribution and storage and communication in the hopefully unlikely event of any suspected adverse reactions."

Mr Blayney was highly complimentary of the co-operation and shared sense of purpose demonstrated by all those involved with JAB and was justifiably proud that the message - Bluetongue - Don't Hesitate - Vaccinate! Contact Your Vet Today - had emphasised the unique role of the vet in the protection of animal health and welfare.

-- The BVA Bluetongue summary 'Key Considerations for Veterinary Surgeons' is available here.

-- BVA JAB pages are here.

British Veterinary Association

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