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Bovine Tuberculosis: Vaccination

Volume 498: debated on Monday 26 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in the government of (a) the Republic of Ireland and (b) New Zealand on the vaccination of badgers against bovine tuberculosis; and if he will make a statement. (293893)

The Secretary of State has discussed vaccination of badgers against bovine TB with the New Zealand Minister of Agriculture, Biosecurity and Forestry.

The majority of DEFRA’s TB vaccine research programme is led by researchers at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency, who collaborate with researchers in both the Republic of Ireland and New Zealand. DEFRA officials have met with their counterparts from the Republic of Ireland and representatives of the industry-led New Zealand Animal Health Board several times recently to discuss work programmes and ensure a coordinated research effort, particularly in regards to the design of badger vaccine field studies and licensing requirements for the use of the BCG vaccine against TB.