Intervet to support European Zoos22 November 2005
THE NETHERLANDS - In October the European Commission published a decision permitting the vaccination of zoo birds against bird flu, under certain conditions. The Dutch Government received EU approval on 14 November 2005 for a vaccination program in Dutch zoos. Intervet has pledged support to the European zoos by offering to supply bird flu vaccine free of charge.
Considering the important role zoos have to play in conservation and education the decision of the European Commission to allow vaccination is welcomed; paving the way for zoos to start actively protecting their often valuable and rare bird collections against avian influenza. In the recent past Intervet has been approached by a number of zoos requesting further information on the merits of vaccination.
By providing a suitable vaccine (Nobilis Influenza H5N2) free of charge Intervet is in a position to support all registered European zoos, with EU approval to vaccinate against bird flu. Intervet’s H7 vaccine was previously used in a vaccination program for Dutch zoos in 2003.
Intervet’s vaccine against the present bird flu virus has been used extensively and very successfully for a number of years in Hong Kong as part of an official government avian influenza control program. The Hong Kong experience and additional information gathered from transmission studies show that vaccination can block virus circulation.
However vaccination will only contribute to bird flu eradication if supported by an overall control program. Intervet’s bird flu vaccine is being used in a number of countries affected by the current H5 outbreak. Intervet routinely produces avian influenza vaccines, which protect against the H5, H7 and H9 bird flu strains (Intervet vaccine strains: H5N2, H5N6, H7N1, H7N7 and H9N2).