The threat of a repeat of last year's bluetongue outbreaks appears to be receding after Defra ordered an additional 13 million doses of vaccine for use in England and Wales to protect cattle and sheep.

Although bluetongue poses no risk to human health, the disease can prove devastating to flocks of sheep and an outbreak could harm the supply of UK meat.

"This is excellent news as it means we will now have sufficient vaccine to cover the whole of England," said a spokesman for JAB, an association of farming bodies, this week.

"This will allow farmers to protect their own livestock against the devastating bluetongue disease."