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First tuberculosis vaccine for badgers is authorised

News Date: 25.03.2010

Defra is introducing the BadgerBCG vaccine this summer as part of the Badger Vaccine Deployment Project. This project will be run by Fera for five years targeting six areas including the worst affected parts of Staffordshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Devon. In December last year Fera began surveying for badger setts in the six areas that were selected based on high historical evidence of TB in cattle.

The injectable tuberculois vaccine which has now been licensed for use will be carried out by trained and accredited contractors from early summer this year until the autumn. Repeated over a five year period this should produce fewer badgers with TB which will potentially result in a reduction in disease incidence in cattle. Given that the vaccine does not cure already infected badgers and that they commonly reach between three to five years of age it will take five years or more for a level of immunity in the badger population that will translate into a reduction in cattle herd breakdowns.The project aims to assess the viability of using an injectable badger vaccine and to provide the knowledge that will help the move towards the long term goal of oral vaccine.

Further information can be found at:

Food and Environment Research Agency

website: www.fera.defra.gov.uk/bvdp

email: badgervaccine@fera.gsi.gov.uk

tel: 0844 248 0073

Veterinary Laboratories Agency

The Veterinary Laboratories Agency is the market authorisation holder and the vaccine is being manufactured by the Statens Serum Institut in Denmark.