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Why is The Scotsman newspaper taking so long to publish a riposte to Buglass article on
bluetongue vaccination in Scotland?

James Irvine

Teviot Scientific, Cultybraggan Farm, Comrie, Perthshire

Filed 10 May 0
©www.land-care.org.uk

On May 2nd The Scotsman newspaper published an article by Dan Buglass entitled "Scottish bluetongue row as England starts vaccinating" (1).

In the view of the National Beef Association Scotland (NBAS) the article contained a number of statements that were not correct. The NBAS submitted a letter to The Scotsman on May 4th in which it attempted to put the record straight.

In the absence of any response from The Scotsman, NBAS was informed that its letter had not been passed on to the appropriate editors. The letter was then resubmitted to the Scotsman on May 6th (2). In that letter NBAS makes its position clear.

To date there has still been no response from the newspaper. It should be a matter of some concern that if the media print an article that contains inaccuracies that there should be an opportunity for a riposte to be published without undue delay.

In his article Dan Buglass claims that the wait-and-see policy is favoured by Scottish farmers. While that may be the view of NFU Scotland, and even that of the National Sheep Association Scotland, on the basis of short-term trade interests, it is not the view of NBA Scotland.

in its article on May 2nd the highly informative website www.warmwell.com was quick to notice the disparity between what was said in the Buglass article and the stance taken by NBAS.

Current EC rules leave Scotland in a dilemma: to take the risk of not vaccinating until the next Vector Free Period in late December 2008, or vaccinate as soon as possible and invite the disease to flood into the country before it can be effective.

In an effort to resolve this problem NBAS is mounting a petition to the EU asking for a derogation to allow a period of grace during which Scotland can vaccinate its livestock on a compulsory basis without having to permit the influx of livestock from areas afflicted with the disease before such vaccination can be effective.

To support the National Beef Association Scotland's Petition to get the EC to change its rules over bluetongue vaccination in bluetongue-free countries Click Here

References

1. Buglass, Dan (2008). Scottish bluetongue row as England starts vaccinating Click Here to View

2. Irvine, J., McBean, H., Mathers, I. & Haywood, K. (2008). Bluetongue Virus Strain 8 Vaccine for Scottish livestock.
Letter to The Scotsman May 04, 2008 Click Here to View


Finis