Controlling bovine tuberculosis

DEFRA says that ‘developing effective cattle TB vaccines is a high priority’ but, on the same webpage, it mentions that the ‘vaccination of cattle against TB is currently prohibited by EU legislation’. (In case you don’t know: EU is the European Union.) Here’s a list of notifiable diseases affecting livestock in Britain.

Something that can be done, that is already being done, is to restrict the movement of infected cattle (Bos primigenius).

A complimentary strategy could be to vaccinate badgers (Meles meles) against bovine TB (bTB). DEFRA is funding experiments by the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) in the Badger Vaccine Deployment Project.

As you may have noticed, I have an open mind on this. I won’t be surprised if a combined strategy ends up being the way forward. But some of the science isn’t finished yet, and the politics continue. All in the context of climate change and economic hard times.


About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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7 Responses to Controlling bovine tuberculosis

  1. Daniel Digby says:

    The EU sounds like they’re taking their cue from the U.S. I suppose their reasoning is on par with the anti-vaxers over here. Have they decreed that TB vaccine causes autism in cows?

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