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November 3 2008

Bluetongue Disease: Vaccination

Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which counties will be prioritised in the roll-out of the bluetongue vaccination strategy from May 2009. [231092]

Jane Kennedy: The 2009 vaccination strategy for Bluetongue serotype 8 is currently being discussed with stakeholders. Further details will be announced following these discussions with the expectation that the vaccination plan will be published by December. This will be made available on the DEFRA website.

3 Nov 2008 : Column 153W

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many bluetongue vaccines have been administered in the last 12 months. [231914]

Jane Kennedy: Vaccination against bluetongue in England and Wales is voluntary, and delivered through existing veterinary medicine supply chains, an approach agreed with the livestock industry to ensure the simple, rapid roll-out of vaccine to protect animals earlier this year. Because the approach to vaccination is voluntary, no definitive figures can be provided on the numbers of livestock actually vaccinated.

However, to date, sales data from the supply chain suggests the overall uptake of vaccine across the whole of England is around 60 per cent. Initial vaccine uptake was high - reaching between 80 per cent. and 90 per cent. in the south east and east of England, but uptake in the counties of northern England and in Wales has been lower.