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Dutch Opt for Voluntary Bluetongue Vaccination

04 December 2008

NETHERLANDS - The Dutch agriculture ministry has decided on a voluntary vaccination programme against bluetongue next year.

The minister Gerda Verburg said the vaccination programme against bluetongue serotype 8 will not be co-financed by the European Commission.

The decision for a voluntary scheme followed meetings with the industry and advice from veterinary experts, who felt that an obligatory programme would be too heavy handed and that there was not enough basis within the sector to make it obligatory.

The ministry had opted not to co-finance the scheme because of the extra administration it would involve and because the Commission requires 80 per cent of animals eligible for vaccination to take part in a voluntary scheme.

Minister Verburg said that the vaccination programme was effective against bluetongue and it is important for livestock breeders to protect their herds, and she urged them to take part in the voluntary programme next year.

She also called on the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that there is enough vaccine available to meet the demand.

She added that because bluetongue serotype 1 had been found in FRance this year, she had ordered 1 million doses of the vaccine.



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