Hebrides Today

News from the Western Isles

Chief vet will travel to the Western Isles over bluetongue issue

Posted by Editor On February - 23 - 2009

Crofters in the Western Isles with concerns over the bluetongue vaccine will be able to voice them first hand to the Chief Veterinary Officer for Scotland, Charles Milne at meetings being arranged in Stornoway and Benbecula.


The meetings arranged by Western Isles MSP, Alasdair Allan will be held on March 30 at 7.30pm in the Garry Room of the Caladh Inn, Stornoway, and March 31at 1pm in the Monach Suite of the Dark Island Hotel, Isle of Benbecula.


Dr Allan commented: "I am delighted that Scotland's Chief Vet, Charles Milne, has accepted my invitation to come to the Western Isles to hear the views of crofters firsthand regarding compulsory Bluetongue vaccinations.


"While the overall priority has to be protecting Scotland's flocks and herds from contracting bluetongue I believe that it would be very useful for the Chief Veterinary Officer to speak to Western Isles crofters directly.


"I hope to see as many crofters as possible at the public meetings where they will have the opportunity to raise these issues face to face with Mr Milne."


It is thought that an extension to the Bluetongue vaccine deadline, whereby crofters had to vaccinate their animals by April 30, could be announced this week.


Mr Milne recently explained the background to the bluetongue vaccination initiative when he wrote to local newspapers throughout the region setting out the reasons why it was felt necessary to have a compulsory programme and why the Shetland Islands were offered a derogation.

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