Good progress has been made with the bluetongue vaccination campaign in Scotland, according to NFU Scotland Vice President Nigel Miller.
Most breeding cattle and sheep are now protected having successfully received their jabs as the end-of-April deadline approaches.
More than five million doses had been issued as returns were collected in March, and evidence suggests that only an extremely low number of suspected adverse reactions have been reported.
Mr Miller said: “With some animals remaining to be vaccinated, farmers around the country are doing a good job of working vaccination in with other spring tasks and livestock handling.
“All cattle should now have had their first injection to make sure the second vaccination is given before the deadline at the end of this month. Sheep, of course, only need one jab, and with ewe hoggs coming back from winterings, that flexibility will be really useful in completing the vaccination programme over the next couple of weeks.
“The next challenge is this year’s calf and lamb crop. New calves and lambs this spring and summer will require to be handled and vaccinated. This will mean extra work but it is vital to ensure all youngstock are protected ahead of the highest risk period in August and September.”
Scottish CVO Charles Milne said: “I am pleased that farmers in Scotland have responded so well. Bluetongue vaccination is going to be a continuing challenge, but it is essential for farmers to make sure their farms are fully protected against the disease and to take advantage of the supported vaccine.
“Vaccination is insurance for farmers’ livestock and businesses, and the fact that every farm across the country is vaccinating provides strong protection for the Scottish livestock industry as whole.”