NOVEMBER 28 2008: Another UK livestock organisation has thrown its weight behind calls for a ban on live imports from all bluetongue restricted zones globally.

The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers says live imports are unnecessary and in the light of possible repercussions ‘totally nonsensical’.RABDF chairman, Lyndon Edwards said an immediate ban should be imposed regardless of the virus serotype prevalent in a region.“Why play Russian roulette with British cattle and sheep? For those farmers seeking quality genetics, they can import either semen or embryos; for the remainder, then a quick fix approach may seem easy, however when the repercussions are considered, it is totally nonsensical and we’re merely short changing ourselves.“If BTV1 or any other bluetongue serotype were to arrive undetected for any period of time in the UK, then not only will herds be shut down, but we will also be faced with another massive vaccination programme and accompanying expenditure, at a time when we are on the verge of introducing an animal health and welfare strategy featuring increased farmer costs and responsibility,” said Mr Edwards.

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