The Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland
Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland

Bluetongue Vaccination - Stakeholders Update

21st September 2012


As from 24 September 2012 it will be legal in Scotland to vaccinate livestock with a Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) or EU approved inactivated bluetongue vaccine.


This change in policy follows amendments recently made to Council Directive 2000/75/EC by EU Council Bluetongue Directive 2012/5/EU that give Member States the discretion to allow vaccination within a free area. Following those amendments and after discussion with the Scottish Animal Health and Welfare Stakeholder Group the Scottish Government decided to give livestock producers the opportunity to protect the health of their animals by allowing the use of available inactivated vaccine within a bluetongue free area.

Similar legislation will come into effect in England on 24 August 2012 and in Wales soon. However, voluntary vaccination will not be allowed in either Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. However, trade of vaccinated animals to any part of Ireland will not be affected as long as any vaccination met European requirements.

BTV-1 & 8 zones are in place in France, Spain and parts of Italy (as at August 2012), but none are in place in northern countries of the European Union.

Commission Regulation 1266/2007 was also amended This involved changes to the requirements for monitoring, surveillance, the transition process for freedom, and the transit of animals. As a result of those changes to the Regulation the Scottish Government is working with the Commission and other Member States to produce guidance on the criteria for establishment, approval and use of ‘vector protected establishments’.

Compliance with the EU’s requirements for monitoring and surveillance programmes, pre­movement testing, reporting of suspect cases and adherence to movement licence conditions will continue.


The Bluetongue (Scotland) Order 2012 will allow vaccination in free area from 24 September 2012. Until that Order comes into force the use of bluetongue vaccine remains prohibited in Scotland.


The Scottish Government’s bluetongue advisory leaflet for those working with ruminants and camelids has been updated and can be found on the Scottish Government’s website (

Although the law is changing, it is still advisable to follow the existing guidelines, which include:

Be aware of the clinical signs of bluetongue and inspect your livestock regularly. If you suspect the presence of the disease, you are require by law to report suspicions to your local Animal Health Regional Office immediately.

Be cautious when sourcing replacement livestock.

Where possible, avoid importing livestock that originates in or will travel through bluetongue Restricted Zones. Where this is not possible, ensure that livestock are symptom free before arrival, find out if they have been vaccinated and protected with insecticide whilst travelling. Also that the move conforms with all import legislation.

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