THERE HAS been a major breakthrough in Bovine Tuberculosis vaccination research as trials are set to get underway in England and Wales.

The British Veterinary Association has said that a viable cattle vaccine could be a 'game changer' in the control and eradication of the disease.

Trials are to be conducted over the next four years on behalf of the Welsh Government, the Scottish Government and Defra. If successful, there is hope for the deployment of a cattle vaccine by 2025.

Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Christianne Glossop, added: “Bovine TB is the biggest animal health challenge we face. It causes significant trauma to our farmers and rural communities.

“Thanks to years of ground-breaking research by the Animal and Plant Health Agency, along with Professor Hewinson, these new trials may provide us with another tool in our fight to stamp out this damaging disease.”

British Veterinary Association junior vice president James Russell said: “The deployment of a viable cattle vaccine used in combination with a validated DIVA test has the potential to be an absolute game changer in our efforts to control and eradicate bovine tuberculosis, and is something that our own expert bTB working group’s upcoming report has identified as a key priority.

“These field trials mark the culmination of years of ground-breaking research and efforts by the veterinary scientific community to expand the range of tools available to vets and farmers to tackle bovine tuberculosis,” he concluded.