Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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Bluetongue update: Extension of the protection zone to allow further vaccination, and future plans

Bluetongue update: Extension of the protection zone to allow further vaccination, and future plans

DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS News Release (Information Bulletin ref : 154/08) issued by The Government News Network on 23 May 2008

Defra has today announced that the Bluetongue Protection Zone will be extended again on Monday 26 May, following the delivery of additional doses of Bluetongue vaccine.

Vaccination is only permitted within the Protection Zone; therefore, in accordance with the Bluetongue vaccination plan, the Protection Zone will be extended to cover all of Devon (including the Unitary Authorities of Plymouth and Torbay). The Surveillance Zone is unaffected.

Defra has also today confirmed that on current plans, which are subject to the overall disease situation, the Protection Zone will be further extended in the week beginning 2 June, in line with the expected delivery of vaccine The intention is for Cornwall, East Riding of Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, the District of Selby, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire (including the Unitary Authority of South Gloucestershire) to be brought into the Protection Zone. The Welsh Assembly Government will also declare the current Restricted Zone in Wales a Protection Zone.

This provides advance warning of the specific areas the Protection Zone will extend into, and allows farmers to plan ahead and order vaccine so that they can protect their stock at the earliest opportunity. This is in line with the vaccination roll-out plan published in April, which outlines the criteria and considerations under which these changes are made.

Livestock keepers in the areas coming into the Protection Zone will be able to obtain the vaccine from the time they become part of the Zone; however they are encouraged to order vaccine in advance through their vet. The vaccine is available in 20ml and 50ml bottles.

Protection Zone restrictions will apply to those keepers coming into the extended zone. Animals can only be moved out of the Protection Zone if they are vaccinated, naturally immune or moving for slaughter, subject to meeting certain conditions. Please refer to the Defra website for further guidance.

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