MAY 8, 2009: Defra has announced that its remaining Bluetongue vaccine stocks will be discounted by 50%.

Farmers now have even more of an incentive to adopt the call for a renewing of the responsible vaccination efforts which saved English farmers’ animals from the disease last year. Defra hopes the discount will be passed down the supply chain, with the end price of vaccine expected to fall from its current price of around 66-79p per ml plus VAT, to around 33p to 39p. The remaining Merial vaccine, in 100ml bottles, is being reduced to encourage uptake and reduce taxpayer liability before it expires later in the year. Nigel Gibbens, Chief Veterinary Officer, said: “This is an added incentive for those farmers who have not yet vaccinated their animals, or who are looking to give their stock a booster during the summer. With midges already active, and the Met Office predicting a warmer summer, conditions for the spread of Bluetongue may be ideal. “Livestock keepers should take this opportunity to buy their vaccine at a discounted price, before the government stocks are no longer available”. Due to the efforts of farmers last year, the UK is now in a situation without evidence of circulating disease. But that should not mean a reduced appetite to vaccinate. The situation on the continent is still uncertain and farmers need to recognise the ongoing risk to their livelihoods and take the opportunity to vaccinate now. Those wishing to order vaccine should speak to their vet as soon as possible.

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