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DEFRA published paper on FMD Vaccination

by 5m Editor
18 June 2004, at 12:00am

UK - Defra today published a paper which gives illustrations of the potential role it sees for emergency vaccination in tackling outbreaks of foot and mouth disease.

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The paper will inform decision-making at a forthcoming national exercise of the Department's contingency plans for a future outbreak

"Exercise Hornbeam" is the culmination of a series of table top exercises looking at strategic, tactical and operational responses to suspicion and confirmation of foot and mouth disease and its spread. It has involved operational partners including other government departments and agencies, devolved administrations, local authorities, and police forces who have joined with Defra to explore their roles and responsibilities at each stage.

In the exercise, Ministers, senior officials and vets from both the Department and across Government will play out Days 7 and 8 of an outbreak scenario which has been designed to test the Government's preparedness as set out in its published contingency plans. The holding of regular exercises was a recommendation put forward by the FMD Inquiries.

Vaccination will be considered from the outset of any future outbreak and could play an important part in reducing the spread, in conjunction with a halt on the movement of animals, and good biosecurity. The slaughter of animals on infected premises and those suspected of harbouring the disease will remain the basic disease control strategy.

Animal Health and Welfare Minister Ben Bradshaw:

"It is essential that the Department's ability to fight a new outbreak of this disease is tested thoroughly and that plans are realistic and achievable.

"The role that vaccination could play in a future outbreak is a crucial area to be tested. Vaccination can be an important part of the armoury and a great deal of work has been done by the Department in turning it into a practical possibility.

"I hope that the background paper published today illustrates clearly how we see vaccination contributing to tackling disease and welcome comments on it."

To view the vaccination document, please click here

Source: Defra - 18th June 2004

5m Editor