It is unclear whether vaccinating badgers in Wales has cut TB in cattle, according to experts.

The Welsh Government is more than halfway into its £4.6m five-year plan to immunise badgers in north Pembrokeshire, but the chief veterinary officer has said it is still too early to see if this has had “additional benefit”.

Dr Christianne Glossop, chief veterinary officer of Wales, spoke ahead of the worldwide conference on TB control, which begins in Cardiff today.

She said: “We’ve completed two years and we’re now well into year three, and so the results are by no means available yet.

“The reduction in north Pembrokeshire is in line with the national reduction, so right now, we have no evidence the vaccination programme in badgers is delivering an additional benefit – and we wouldn’t expect to see any evidence at this stage either.”

In 2012 and 2013, 2,776 badgers were trapped and vaccinated in the Intensive Action Area (IAA), at a cost of more than £1.8m.

However, Dr Glossop said the wider TB eradication programme cost £28m in 2013 alone. Most of this was spent on testing cattle, biosecurity and compensating farmers.

She said: “You’ve always got to have the balance here between all the different elements of the programme, making sure that you’re tackling all sources of infection.”

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