return to

3pm, Tuesday 8 January 2008
Nobel House, Conference Room D
Andrew Jones (Chair)             Peter Morris (NSA)
Philip Reed                            Paul Roger (SVS)
Heather Elliott                        Alasdair King (Intervet)
John Kittmer                           Gareth Hateley (BCVA)
Andrew Clayton                       Kevin Pearce (NFU)
David Mouat                            Neil Ritchie (Scottish Executive)
Simon Scanlan                         Martyn Blissitt (Scottish Executive)
Matt Hartley                            Jackie Robinson (DARD)
Jane Gibbens                           Ian McKee (DARD)
Myrtle O’Keefe                        Philip Mellor (IAH)
Brendon Lancaster (Animal Health) Eamon O’Donnell (Isle of Man)
Ralph Woodland (VMD)             Linda Lowseck (Jersey)

1. Introduction and apologies
Andrew Jones welcomed members to the Bluetongue Vaccination Working Group
meeting. An extended welcome was conveyed to new members John Kittmer (new
Deputy Director), Paul Roger from the SVS, Jane Gibbens (who replaced John
Wilesmith as our epidemiological advisor) and Alasdair King (from Intervet).

2. Minutes of last meeting
Action points from the previous meeting were outlined:

· Ralph Woodland reported there was no data expected on vaccination in species
other than sheep and cattle.
· Simon Scanlan has work in progress on number of premises with less than 20
· Philip Reed is continuing work progress in developing a web-based system for
reporting vaccination.

3. Recent developments

Update on vaccine supply
On 19 December, Defra announced that it is placing a firm order with Intervet to
supply 22.5 million doses of Bluetongue vaccine. Alasdair King from Intervet would
attend future Working Group meetings.

Andrew expressed to members it was essential that information discussed and
shared at meetings was kept confidential as there had been a leak of confidential
information from a previous meeting.

Action: Andrew to distribute Terms of Reference
Agriculture Council Meeting,19 December
It was useful to see that vaccination and co-funding was being discussed at a
ministerial level. The Commission accepted vaccination would be the best control
measure for Bluetongue. Co-funding was also discussed but further clarity on this
issue was needed.
Bluetongue vaccination conference, 16 January
Philip Reed, Heather Elliott and Fred Landeg would be attending the Bluetongue
Vaccination conference in Brussels. It is an open conference, people who want to
register should contact Phil. Feedback will be provided from Phil and Heather at the
next meeting.

4. Vaccination Plan

The latest draft version of the vaccination plan was circulated, highlighted sections in
the plan indicated key points where changes had been made.
A1 – Aims and objectives (voluntary-v-compulsory vaccination)
Simon Scanlan provided an analysis of the likely costs involved in a voluntary or
compulsory programme. The analysis was based on a variety of assumptions which
could be changed if required. Three options were considered for England only:

1) a compulsory programme with full state supervision
2) a voluntary programme
3) a compulsory programme, audited by Animal Health.

A voluntary programme (option 2) would be half the price of a compulsory audited
programme (option 3). It is unlikely that there would be any resources available in
Animal Health for a fully supervised compulsory programme (option 1).

Discussions were raised on vaccine wastage, which would depend on the dose size
and the volume of the order. Simon Scanlan has been asked to pull together data on
premises needing 20 dose bottles.

On compulsory vaccination, even retrieving the additional costs back from industry
require an additional cost. Retrieving and redistributing funds from the Commission
would also be a complex process. Kevin Pearce suggested the scheme should be
promoted as practically compulsory, by creating pressure on farmers regarding the
importance of vaccination to protect the country.

Action: Philip Reed to produce a short paper on the reasons behind the
decision made for a voluntary and not a compulsory scheme.

B2 – Area and priorities in which vaccination will be carried out
It will be important to vaccinate on known infected premises and large cattle herds
due to their potential role in disease spread. It was noted by Jane Gibbens that there
is an issue with newborn animals that cannot be vaccinated because of their age.
Intervet’s studies are ongoing and Alisdair King will provide clarity on the age
animals can be vaccinated.

Consideration will be given to extending zones after a certain period. Any decisions
on the extent of zones will be kept under review.

B7 - Identification of vaccinated animals and premises
There was debate on whether vaccinated animals should be individually identified,
with strong support from Scotland for the identification of vaccinated animals. This
could be important for exit strategy. Further discussion will continue at the next

5. Cost-benefit analysis
Section previously covered under section 4 – vaccination plan.

6. Potential cost of vaccination
Gaps and questions on the cost of the vaccination are still pending. Work will be
undertaken on a recommended price, clarifying the mark-up wholesalers and vets
will place on the vaccine. A meeting will be held with the veterinary department and
wholesalers. It was noted by Peter Morris that we need to be clear on what the
margins are on profits so there is transparency. Andrew Jones stated to members
that this was a complex area but would endeavour to provide as much information as
possible. It is envisaged that information will be available in the near future on the
Defra website.

7. AOB
Next Steps
Consideration of the plan is currently in progress, further comments will be required
soon. A revised version will be submitted to the Core Group and Science Advisory

A wider stakeholder meeting is scheduled soon for views and recommendations on
the vaccine process. The next Working Group meeting will report on the remaining
gaps, identifications, with a near-final version provided of the plan to be discussed.
Members were thanked for their contributions.
Date and time of next meeting
Wednesday 23 January at 2pm, sday 23 January at 2pm, Page Street, LG20.