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mail received April 10 2007

Dear Mary,

The only contact I have had with this disease is the inability to purchase semen from a bull because he had been vaccinated. It appears that in areas which have an endemic problem, vaccination is practised, but that this then is used as a trading bloc by other countries.

My veterinary books describe various scenarios with mortality ranging from 5/10 % up to 90%. In some strains / outbreaks (California 1960) cattle have suffered badly while sheep, not at all. Most outbreaks cause huge economic losses, through weight loss, abortion etc. as high fever and blisters on the lips and tongue / feet prevent the animal moving and thus eating / drinking.

The FG map of its effect in Europe was a shock. I thought it much further away! The north Sea is no barrier to a midge - especially if it hitches a ride on a cross channel ferry (Hook of Holland /Rotterdam / Harwich / Felixtowe)

On balance Mary, I think vaccination for this one. We vaccinate for IBR, Lepto, BVD routinely - all 'economic' diseases so called, as they (with the exception of Lepto) are not zoonotic. If contact / exposure can be prevented by keeping a closed herd, then that type of biosecurity must be priority. That said, this path leaves the candidate animal extremely vulnerable if it then has contact with the disease. We had a closed dairy herd and did not have an IBR problem. The chap to whom we sold, did. But he injected as they came off the lorry. Too late. He lost some and many had a bad dose of pneumonia.

We cannot control midges, so sooner or later we have to embrace a prevention policy. This is different from Tb though, as we can sort out the problem in badgers, and we cannot vaccinate all of them!

Best wishes




































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