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Bulletin No.40 : Bluetongue Vaccination Update

Please note that the Bluetongue Scottish Order comes into force on 24 September 2012 but similar legislation will come into force in England today, 24 August 2012 and Wales soon after.
Unless you are exporting animals when the legislation may be different, BLS is not recommending that you vaccinate your animals unless another outbreak occurs. The different strains of Bluetongue all have different vaccines to combat them and BLS is concerned that we may end up over medicating our animals which is not recommended. It is, as usual, up to each individual owner, but we can only pass on our recommendations.
Health & Welfare Officer for
British Llama Society and British Camelids

The following has just been received from the Scottish Administration. BLS and BCL are stakeholders in the livestock Scottish Assembly) :

Dear Stakeholder,
As from 24 September 2012 it will be legal in Scotland to vaccinate livestock with a Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) or EU approved inactivated bluetongue vaccine.
This change in policy follows amendments recently made to Council Directive 2000/75/EC by EU Council Bluetongue Directive 2012/5/EU that give Member States the discretion to allow vaccination within a free area.  Following those amendments and after discussion with the Scottish Animal Health and Welfare Stakeholder Group the Scottish Government decided to give livestock producers the opportunity to protect the health of their animals by allowing the use of available inactivated vaccine within a bluetongue free area.
Similar legislation will come into effect in England on 24 August 2012 and in Wales soon.  However, voluntary vaccination will not be allowed in either Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.  However, trade of vaccinated animals to any part of Ireland will not be affected as long as any vaccination met European requirements.

BTV-1 & 8 zones are in place in France, Spain and parts of Italy (as at August 2012), but none are in place in northern countries of the European Union.
Commission Regulation 1266/2007 was also amended. This involved changes to the requirements for monitoring, surveillance, the transition process for freedom, and the transit of animals.  As a result of those changes to the Regulation the Scottish Government is working with the Commission and other Member States to produce guidance on the criteria for establishment, approval and use of ‘vector protected establishments’.
Compliance with the EU’s requirements for monitoring and surveillance programmes, premovement testing, reporting of suspect cases and adherence to movement licence conditions will continue.
The Bluetongue (Scotland) Order 2012 will allow vaccination in free area from 24 September 2012.
Until that Order comes into force the use of bluetongue vaccine remains prohibited in Scotland.
The Scottish Government’s bluetongue advisory leaflet for those working with ruminants and camelids has been updated and can be found on the Scottish Government’s website (

Although the law is changing, it is still advisable to follow the existing guidelines, which include: