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Farron urges bluetongue import clamp-down

March 26, 2008 3:00 PM

Local MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hill Farming Tim Farron has today called on the Government to tighten up regulations on the importing of meat from EU countries, which has proved a major source of bluetongue outbreaks. Mr Farron is also repeating calls for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to press ahead in ordering more doses of the BTV8 vaccine.

In the past the bluetongue virus has been transmitted to animals in Britain by animals imported from infected areas, and Mr Farron wants to see a movement ban on imports from those areas.

Tim Farron said:

"It is a real concern to farmers in my area and many up and down the country that bluetongue could effectively be imported in this way. Were the positions reversed, I am certain that other European nations would have no trouble in placing a ban on British meat. I want to see pre-movement testing of animals in infected areas.

"I am also seeking assurances from DEFRA that plans are going ahead to procure an adequate number of doses of the bluetongue vaccine so that we are sufficiently prepared should another outbreak occur."