Farmers wanted for bluetongue study

Scientists are calling on farmers to help with research in the bid to battle the development of bluetongue in the UK.

Researchers at the Institute for Animal Health and University of Cambridge are seeking the assistance of farmers in their study of bluetongue vaccine this year in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

Following the first cases ever of bluetongue in Britain last September, farmers began vaccinating their livestock with newly developed vaccine in May.

Dr Chris Oura, from IAH said: "We are most keen to get the involvement of farmers in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk in this

study, they being at the epicentre of last year's historic outbreak.

"To help farmers this year and next year, we need to demonstrate how well vaccination is working and what reasons underlie decisions to vaccinate."

Researcher want to ascertain the take-up of vaccine by farmers and to understand better the reasons for the success of the programme. The other aspect is to quantify the animal health, welfare and financial benefits associated with vaccination.

The result could well influence future vaccination development and deployment.