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Translated from the French Feb 27 2008

As indicated in the press release of February 14 (2008), the Ministry has announced the vaccination plan against Bluetongue for the year 2008. In order to supplement and clarify this official statement, you will find below additional information which needs to be confirmed at the next national steering committee which will be held on March 4.

The situation in Europe is worsening because on the northern coast of Spain, close to the Spanish Basque Country, serotypes 1 and 8 are co-existing together. The vector free period will thus not be on the agenda this year. In France, taking into account the configuration of the zones concerned with serotype 8 and serotype 1, it has been decided that the vaccination plan will cover the whole of France for serotype 8 and only 4 departments of the South West and Corsica for serotype 1.

It should be noted that vaccination against one serotype does not protect against another. When an area is vaccinated against one serotype, the territory concerned becomes a zone where movement is prohibited. Vaccination is prohibited into free zones.

As far as tendering for the vaccines is concerned:

For BTV1: the contract has gone to Fort Dodge and the ATU (temporary market authorisation) has been obtained , the availability of sufficient doses has been assured for 4 departments in the South West and Corsica who will vaccinate 700 000 bovines, and 1 million sheep (and goats). This delivery will take place in March.

For BTV8: the contract is signed, ATU is obtained for cattle, and 30 million doses to vaccinate 15 million bovines will be delivered between now and August, ATU for sheep etc is in hand, 10.6 million doses to vaccinate 10.6 million sheep will be available between now and August. Delivery will be made in several stages between April and August.

The methods of vaccination: 2 BTV8 injections for cattle (booster in 3 weeks) and 1 BTV0 injection for sheep. There is only one injection for BVT1 (IM for the bovines, and SC for the sheep and goats)

practicalities for 2008 :

Taking account of the situation, the following will happen this year: voluntary vaccination will be carried out by veterinary surgeons and paid for in part by livestock owners (at a reasonable charge). In effect, this year it is a matter of limiting symptoms and losses rather than eradication of the disease.

This year the State is buying the vaccines (financed by the EU, by the State). The costs of the vaccination process itself by vets will thus fall on the farmers. Even so, the European Commission will contribute this year a maximum of 1 euro for every bovine (i.e. 50 centimes per injection) and 15 centimes per smaller animal vaccinated which will be paid directly to the vets.

Distribution and delivery of vaccines

The timescale is as follows: March - one delivery for serotype 1 , April for serotype 8, then in stages every month until August when a total number of 40 million of doses ought to have been delivered. (30 million for bovine and 10 for small ruminants)

Prioritisation of vaccines

For cattle : the 16 departments affected in 2006 will have priority as will grazing calves (broutards) being traded and transhumant animals. These categories will be prioritised in the first deliveries then the remaining doses (very few in the first two deliveries) will be distributed by vets throughout France according to the size of holdings. Which animals to vaccinate will be a matter for farmers to decide in consultation with their vets.

For sheep: the 16 departments affected in 2006 will take priority along with traded animals and transhumant animals. Dividing up the remaining doses will be decided by departments on the basis the size of their livestock production. If a farmer wants to vaccinate then it will have to be for the whole of his holding. Then the rest of France will be provided with vaccine as the deliveries are made

An arrangement of temporary market authorisation is envisaged so that all vets can use the vaccines.

Certification of vaccination

Proof is the livestock register which will have to be completed and signed by the vet who will have carried out the injections. In the case of animal movement, particularly those for export, the passport will have to be stamped by the vet who will certify date of vaccination and the type of vaccine.

For sheep, this will consist of an additional document for each livestock holding, filled in and signed by the veterinary surgeon, which will go with the animal when it is moved

Supply of vaccine for veterinary surgeons

They will be required to designate a single distribution centre which will provide them with vaccine. They will be provided with vaccine according to the number of cattle owned by their clients. The vet will ask for vaccine as it is needed from the distribution centre in stages according to the requirements of the farmers.

The DDSV will oversee the amounts that each vet can have allotted to him for the first and subsequent deliveries. The vets will then be required to communicate to the DDSV (in a manner not yet defined) the number of holdings and animals vaccinated in order for the EU aid of 1 euro per bovine and 0.15 centimes per small ruminant to be reimbursed.

La Directrice Departementale des services veterinaires,

Signe : Christine MOURRIERAS