Defra opts for TB vaccination (when available) over badger culling
Vaccination for both cattle and badgers. That’s the preferred option of Defra Secretary of State Hilary Benn to tackle bovine tuberculosis – not badger culling. There’s just one small problem – despite decades of research there are currently no TB vaccines available for either animal.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Benn announced that £20 million will now be invested over the next three years in developing usable cattle and badger vaccines.
“We have invested £18 million in the last 10 years in vaccine development, which has delivered good results, including: evidence that vaccinating young calves is effective; making progress towards developing a test to differentiate infected from vaccinated cattle; showing that injectable BCG can protect badgers; and developing oral badger vaccine baits.
“I now intend to increase significantly our spending on vaccines by putting £20 million into this over the next three years to strengthen our chances of successfully developing them. I will also provide additional funding to set up and run a practical project to prepare for deploying vaccines in the future.