English authorities hope to have a TB vaccine for cattle in use by 2025. The vaccine is currently being developed by the UK’s chief veterinary officer, Dr Christine Middlemiss, who is positive about its success.
She told the BBC that the vaccine development was on track and continued by saying she felt the UK was getting a handle on its TB situation, and that it had seen the levels in the risk areas plateau over the last number of months.
If the TB vaccine was rolled out in the UK, many in Ireland could be hoping that it would also be used here to combat the TB issue. However, the vaccine has been difficult to develop as current tests do not differentiate between levels of TB in an infected animal versus a vaccinated animal.
In addition, badger culls in England are to be phased out and no new culling licences will be issued from December next year.
Dr Middlemiss said that she was keen that badger culling remained a tool against TB if it was needed but the National Farmers’ Union in England has reacted angrily to the news that it will be phased out.