A vaccine for the BTV-3 strain of bluetongue has been approved in the Netherlands, Dutch Agriculture Minister Piet Adema has said.

“At my request, an accelerated assessment was used so that the vaccine could be made available for the Dutch market as soon as possible,” he said in a letter to parliament.

Sheep will require one dose of the vaccine, with cattle needing two doses before they are optimally protected against the virus. Bluetongue is spread by midges and a new wave of the disease is expected in the Netherlands from early June, similar to the second outbreak of the BTV-8 strain back in 2007.

“With the arrival of the vaccine, we hope to be able to protect animals as much as possible against BTV-3 infections and thus mitigate the consequences of a possible upcoming outbreak as much as possible,” Minister Adema said.