Problems with supply exist across many vaccines, including the Clostridial and Pasteurella, abortion, and footvax and orf, with some more acute than others.
NSA have, since last year, been in regular contact with manufacturing companies to try to resolve the shortages seen across the country. NSA have also written to both MSD, VMD and Lord Benyon to try to rectify the ongoing issues in supply, this issue has also been raised at a ministerial level on the behalf of farmers across the country. More recently NSA has written to Sir Robert Goodwill as chair of the EFRA select committee suggesting this would be a helpful topic for them to investigate.
The following message also comes from NSA Chief Executive:
‘We are hearing from and speaking to many vets and farmers regarding the disruption in supplies of vaccine and this is a very quick update on where we are at a more strategic level. We still haven’t had a response from VMD to our letter although I am now in contact with the CEO of the VMD and have requested a meeting to discuss this issue. I did get a response to a letter to Lord Benyon on this matter that at least recognised the issue. It’s clear there are discussions going on that we aren’t being included in, within the AHWBE in particular, which is fine although I’m now going to make the point to VMD via Abi Seager their CEO, that we need to know what is happening and we can help them if they include us at relevant times.
The Animal Health and Welfare Board for England are heavily involved and talking to its Chair Jonathan Statham on Friday it is recognised that most of this IS Brexit related – but Government will not accept this publicly. If there are solutions, they are twofold – over time UK/EU relations will/may improve, and I can see some investment going into vaccine production capacity here in the UK although even if this happens, we won’t be immune from EU and global pressures and supply difficulties. We have also been made aware that there is pressure on global vaccine production capacity, due to new human and animal vaccines coming on board, and new facilities take some 10 years to get in place due to planning/licensing etc. We can foresee this problem being ongoing and we need to continue to do what we can to help. From a farmer perspective one thing that we can do is pre order/pre notify vets of our planned use rather than assume we can simply go and pick up these vaccines.’’
NSA is aware that this does not allay the issues faced by industry at present, but NSA is working extremely hard to aide in rectifying these supply chain issues.