Page last updated at 07:36 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 08:36 UK

Show welcomes bluetongue jab zone

A sheep infected with bluetongue
Bluetongue was first reported in Britain in 2007

Organisers of an agricultural show in Cumbria have welcomed the expected extension of a bluetongue vaccination zone to the county.

A protection zone, already in force in other parts of the UK, will extend into Cumbria some time after 1 September.

Organisers of the Westmorland Show hope the move will be complete by 11 September, so livestock from most of England can be included in the event.

Currently the show cannot accept animals from vaccination areas.

The show's chief executive Christine Knipe said: "Basically, if we stay outside the vaccination zone designated by Defra, we will only be able to bring in livestock from Cumbria, Northumberland or Scotland.

Vaccine delivery

"But if we do go into the protection zone we will then be able to bring livestock from throughout the UK, apart from Scotland."

The virus, spread by midges, was first reported in the UK in 2007. Since then, almost 130 farms have been infected.

A spokesman for Defra said: "The intention is to roll out the protection zone to both Northumberland and Cumbria in one single extension, in line with scheduled vaccine delivery.

"This will complete the vaccination roll-out by bringing the whole of England into the zone.

"Animals can only be moved out of the zone if they are vaccinated, naturally immune or moving for slaughter."

Bluetongue jab zone is extended
20 Aug 08 |  England
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Q&A: Bluetongue disease
22 Feb 08 |  UK

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