Stock levels of vaccines protecting breeding ewes from enzootic abortion (EAE) are returning to normal after recent shortages.
As the sheep breeding season gets underway, later lambing flocks will now be able to source the important vaccine required to protect ewes from miscarrying their lambs due to EAE.
An outbreak of EAE is devastating and vaccination is a key tool to protect ewes, which has to be administrated at least four weeks before tupping.
The National Sheep Association (NSA) welcomed the news amid a 'critical time' for the sector, after months of the body calling for action to improve vaccine stocks.
NSA chief executive, Phil Stocker says: “As the EAE vaccine has to be administered at least four weeks before tupping it has been a critical time for sheep farmers trying to source the vaccine.
"Every week counts, and so NSA is now urging sheep farmers to speak with their vaccine supplier or vet to ensure their ewes are protected.
"After months of NSA calling for any action to improve vaccine stocks it is particularly good news to hear of some return to normal.”
Ceva Animal Health, which produces the EAE vaccine Cevac Chlamydia, is urging vets to encourage farmers to vaccinate their flocks to help protect ewe welfare and prevent abortions during lambing.
Roy Geary, regional director at Ceva, said: “While we realise that the temporary delay of Cevac Chlamydia has been inconvenient to sheep farmers we would like to thank all our customers for their patience.
"The vaccine supply is now available in the UK for the latter end of the season. Farmers tupping later in October should be encouraged to vaccinate their flocks to protect their ewes from this devastating disease.”
Fiona Lovatt, past president of the Sheep Veterinary Society, said the delays had been 'such a challenge' for the UK sheep sector.
"It is really very good news that there is new EAE vaccine stock available and it should be just about in time for those tupping later in October," she added.
"An outbreak of EAE is devastating and vaccination is a key tool to protect ewes.”