Unfortunately there is a worldwide vaccine shortage due to Covid related production issues combined with an increase in the number of cats needing vaccination.
The Veterinary Officer has contacted all the major UK vaccine manufacturers and they are all giving the same advice to veterinary practices which is to prioritise primary vaccination courses and delay booster vaccinations for up to 3 months.
There will be no rule change in relation to vaccination as the clause in Rule 1/10 b ii covers situations when a breeder cannot vaccinate kittens in an emergency.
Breeders should make every effort to find a practice that will provide a complete vaccination course at the usual age ie 9 and 12 weeks. It is most strongly recommended that you try to book a litter in as far ahead as possible ie at least 4/5 weeks before the first vaccine is due. If you encounter difficulty please explain to the practice that vaccination prior to sale is a GCCF rule that is there for the protection and welfare of kittens up to 12/13 weeks of age before being released to their new homes.
If no practice in your area is able to either fully vaccinate kittens or give only a single dose of vaccine, the GCCF Veterinary Advisory Committee has agreed that kittens may be rehomed under the emergency provision of GCCF Rule 1/10 b ii which requires the breeder to inform the GCCF Office with a valid reason for failure to vaccinate. The kittens must be at least 12 weeks old and have had at least one health check by a veterinary surgeon before rehoming.
At present you are asked to send a copy of a Vet’s letter confirming that the kitten was not vaccinated due to a supply shortage and that a health check has been carried out on the kitten before it was rehomed. A copy of this should also be given to the new owner. The breeder must also advise the new owner that the kitten must be fully vaccinated by their own veterinary surgeon at the earliest opportunity. The new owner should also be advised that the kitten should be isolated from all other cats until at least 7 days after the 2nd dose of vaccine.
This is an interim measure. The Veterinary Officer is preparing a form which can be used to make this process easier for the breeder and their veterinary surgeon and remove the need for a vet’s letter as all the necessary information will be covered by the form which will include a blank space for the kittens health check result and need to be signed by both breeder and vet before being sent to the office. The breeder will not need to inform the office in any other way if the form has been submitted correctly. This form will be available to download from the GCCF website shortly.
Please check the website regularly for the latest information.
Dr Susan F Moreland BA Vet MB MRCVS
GCCF Veterinary Officer
11th October 2021