The National Sheep Association (NSA) is set to hold a webinar on the ongoing impact of the UK livestock vaccine shortage next month.

The webinar, ‘Vaccines, why we can’t get them and how to manage the implications’, is free to join and will take place at 8:30a.m on Wednesday, October 4, 2023.

Hosted by the NSA’s Breakfast Club, the webinar will explore the issues UK farmers are having related to sourcing vaccines and the knock-on effect that this is having on animal health and welfare.

It will also aim to give practical advice to farmers on what they can do if they are unable to access vaccines.

NSA chief executive, Phil Stocker, said: “NSA has endeavoured to keep its members and other UK sheep farmers up to date on the ongoing difficulties felt in sourcing vaccines via its NSA publications and online engagement.

“This webinar will add to this providing a fuller update on the vaccine availability situation across the UK, giving a a chance to attendees to hear and ask questions over alternative strategies to reduce disease risk.”

Vaccine access

The NSA said problems with supply have existed across many vaccines for more than a year, including those preventing clostridial and pasteurella disease, abortion, lameness and orf, with some more acutely affected than others.

The association for UK sheep farmers said it has been in “regular contact” with manufacturing companies to try to help resolve the issues seen across the country.

Stocker said the NSA webinar will dissect these issues as well as providing guest speakers to talk about different aspects of vaccine shortage and its impacts.

“In this NSA Breakfast Club we will hear from Jonathon Statham – chair of the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England Committee – who will discuss the reasons why we are seeing a shortage across supply chains, how it might be rectified and how long this might take to resolve as well as the wider long term impacts this shortage might have across the livestock industry,” Stocker said.

“We will also hear from Dr Joe Henry – specialist beef and sheep vet (Black Sheep Vets) on management practices, how to mitigate long term impacts and what to do if you can’t access vaccines along with what should be classed as priority stock and how you can move towards overcoming some impacts of a vaccine shortage across industry.”