The Parliamentary committee tasked with holding DEFRA to account is to launch an investigation into the cost, efficacy and trade impacts of vaccinating both cattle and badgers against bovine tuberculosis.
The Parliamentary committee tasked with holding DEFRA to account is set to launch an investigation into the efficacy of vaccinating badgers against bovine tuberculosis (bTB).
On November 9, 2012, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRACom) announced it would look into the timescales and challenges associated with vaccinating both badgers and cattle against the disease, as well as the cost, efficacy and trade impacts of such programmes.
The news follows last month’s official postponement of planned pilot badger culls in two English bTB hotspots, which had been scheduled to take place this autumn but were put on hold due to an under-estimate of badger numbers and the manpower needed for the culls.
Elsewhere, earlier this year the Welsh administration moved from a policy of targeted culling to one of vaccination in Pembrokeshire and the surrounding areas.
EFRACom has called for evidence from all interested parties on the issues of cattle and badger vaccination, with particular focus on:
- the current injectable badger vaccination programme;
- a possible oral bTB badger vaccine;
- a possible oral bTB cattle vaccine; and
- DIVA testing for badgers and cattle.
The deadline for evidence submissions is January 11, 2013.
For more information about the new inquiry, visit the committee’s website.