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Possible Schmallenberg vaccine confirmed
VMD provides information on MSD application

After renewed calls from the farming industry the Veterinary Medicines Directive (VMD) has released information regarding a possible vaccine for Schmallenberg.

The directorate has taken the unusual step of sharing information regarding the MSD's application for its 'Bovilis SBV' vaccine. Usually the directorate is unable to comment on any applications it has received, or their current status, for reasons of commercial confidentiality. However in light of the media interest surrounding the possible vaccine, MSD has allowed the VMD to release certain information.

The VMD has confirmed it received an application for a provisional marketing authorisation at the end of August 2012. The application was then completed and validated in mid September 2012 following the provision of further data.

According to the directorate the initial assessment was completed, and further enquiries were sent to the company in question towards the end of November 2012. After receiving a response at the end of January 2013, the VMD are now assessing this information.

A VMD spokesman said: "Despite the good progress, at this stage it is not possible to provide an indication of when the vaccine may be authorised.

"The VMD recognises the impact on individual animals and farmers a disease such as Schmallenberg can have.

"The VMD will operate timelines for the remaining stages of consideration of the application mindful of this while ensuring, through our rigorous scientific assessment process, that proper care is taken to ensure that any vaccine is safe for the relevant livestock."

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Nominations open for National Cat Awards 2020

News Story 1
 UK charity Cats Protection has announced that cat owners can nominate their pets for the National Cat Awards 2020 starting today.

The awards take place annually, celebrating heart warming stories of the positive impact that cats have on their owners. Cat owners have until Thursday 12 March to submit their nominations through the Cats Protection website. 

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Restriction zone lifted at Suffolk chicken farm

A one-kilometre restriction zone around a commercial chicken farm in mid-Suffolk has been lifted, following the completion of surveillance testing for avian influenza H5N3 with negative results.

Some 27,000 birds on the premises were culled after a veterinary surgeon identified the disease while investigating a fall in egg production. Poultry keepers are urged to take action to reduce the risk of disease in their flock by following government advice on biosecurity.