The Scottish Government has announced the start date for compulsory bluetongue vaccination.
From the 3rd of November 2008, all cattle and sheep in Scotland of three months of age and older will legally require vaccination against strain 8 of the bluetongue virus (BTV8). Vaccination should be completed no later than 30 April 2009. Other susceptible species, such as goats, deer and llamas should be vaccinated on a voluntary basis. In total, around seven million animals will require vaccination in this six-month window. The dates reflect the time of year when low temperatures mean that the activity of the virus, and the midges responsible for transmitting it, is at its lowest. In the first year the Scottish Government is supporting half of the vaccine manufacturer costs.
From 30 April 2009, there will be an ongoing need to vaccinate newly born animals and a programme of annual boosters given to animals previously vaccinated against BTV8 to preserve their immunity.
As from the 3rd of November Scotland will be declared a Protection zone.