Home News General The Battle against Bluetongue on BBC

The response of farmers and scientists in Europe to outbreaks of the bluetongue virus is the subject of a new documentary to be broadcast on BBC World Service.

The Battle Against Bluetongue investigates why the virus is spreading so far and so fast, and what researchers and vaccine manufacturers are doing to tackle it. The human cost of bluetongue is documented by Alain Joly, one of many thousands of French farmers whose livelihoods were destroyed by outbreaks in 2007-8, and who firmly believes in the need for vaccination.

The programme also looks at whether lessons learned in the battle against bluetongue in Europe can be used to fight other viral diseases of animals, such as African swine fever, now rampant in the Caucasus. “With climate change, rising temperatures, and more trade and travel, farmers in the southern and northern hemisphere now share the same disease problems. We have to learn from one another,” says Joly.

The Battle Against Bluetongue was broadcast around the world on the BBC World Service from Thursday 18th December 2008 to Monday 22nd December 2008.