Video makes the case for bluetongue vaccination

The National Farmers Union has launched an online video to help farmers in the fight against bluetongue.

Produced by NFU East Anglia and NFU South East, it sets out the serious risk bluetongue poses, why livestock keepers should vaccinate against bluetongue BTV8 and steps to take when vaccinating cattle and sheep.

The film includes an interview with the world expert on bluetongue, Dr Chris Oura, from the Institute for Animal Health in Surrey, who highlights the devastating impact of bluetongue in countries such as France, Holland and Belgium. 

Dr Oura said: "We have to really take this disease seriously. It is not one that is going to come and go."

West Sussex-based vet, Matt Dobbs MRCVS, a director of the Westpoint Veterinary Group at Warnham, talks farmers through good practice in vaccination.

In the video Dobb said: "It is vital that all livestock are vaccinated...Only if we can get nearly 100% coverage of all livestock vaccinated can we be sure that we can stop this disease in its tracks."

The six minute video is now available to view on the NFU website, www.nfuonline.com and DVD copies will also be available for use at NFU meetings and livestock events nationwide.

Defra announced last week that three million doses of the bluetongue BTV8 vaccine have been released for use in the bluetongue protection zone, which covers East Anglia, much of South East England and Dorset. Bluetongue is spread by midges and affects cattle and sheep. It does not affect people.