Injectable Badger TB Vaccine to be Deployed in UK

UK - The first vaccine against bovine tuberculosis in badgers will be used in the field in England next year, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn announced today.
calendar icon 19 March 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

According to a Defra announcement, the vaccine will be used in six areas of up to 100km² where there is a high incidence of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle. Vaccination will start in 2010 and continue for at least five years.

It will be the first practical use of a vaccine for TB in badgers outside research trials.

The deployment project will focus on developing practical approaches for use rather than developing further evidence of the effectiveness of the vaccine, although Defra will be looking at the number of cattle herd TB breakdowns in the areas for any changes in cattle disease trends.

Hilary Benn said:

“Developing an effective vaccine for bovine TB is only half the challenge. The other is to deploy it effectively. This project will help us do that. As such it marks real progress in our fight against this terrible disease.”

The project will focus on ease of use in the field, securing local engagement in the vaccination campaign, developing practical know how and creation of a skills base. Government, the farming industry and other stakeholders working together will be important for its success.

Defra will begin to sign up participants and train personnel during 2009, with vaccination expected to begin in summer 2010.

The Government is working with the Bovine TB Eradication Group for England and other key groups to develop criteria for selecting the areas where the project will take place, looking specifically at areas with a high incidence of bovine TB in cattle.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on Bovine Tuberculosis by clicking here.

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