Nov 9 2008 ~ bTB eradication. Can we not get on with it?
Mr David Drew asked "... let us go with the hunch rather than a pure scientific proven outcome to see if we can dampen down an area by using the vaccination, initially injecting the badgers, because that is all we have got at the moment, we have not got the oral vaccine, we have not got the cattle vaccine, but we know, we have got some evidence, not yet proven, of whether you can dampen down TB in that area by using an injectable vaccine.
Hilary Benn: I would certainly be keen, it is obviously subject to advice that I receive, to try this out in hotspot areas. That would seem to be a really sensible and logical place to have a go. ..."Mr David Taylor ( "I am a fully paid-up member of the jabbing tendency") expressed the utter frustration of many when he spoke of the discussions with the EU not even scheduled to take place until 2014 or 2015 and the time needed after that for the practicalities of vaccination to take place
"... you are going to have a quadrupling of herd breakdowns to, on that trend, 16,000 herd breakdowns a year..... another seven years really beyond that and every damned herd is broken down. In terms of animals slaughtered quadrupling, it would produce a figure of 100,000 animals slaughtered. Do you think that the British public, farmers and others could sustain that sort of level of loss, 300 cattle a day being slaughtered because of TB, which is a herd a day or whatever it might be? That is an astonishingly high figure which should really provoke, and stimulate, a perhaps rather more rapid reaction."(Read uncorrected evidence)
October 18 2008 ~ Bovine Tuberculosis: Vaccination
On 29th Sept, Mr Shaw told the House of Commons that the vaccine study at Aston Down will not be completed until March 2010.
Hansard: Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to publish an evaluation of the fieldwork being undertaken as part of the vaccine trials for bovine TB taking place at Aston Down. An announcement last July that Hilary Benn would make £20m available to develop a TB vaccine "over the next three years", was encouraging - but there is a very pressing need to control this disease and, from the government, a sense of urgency to boost funding given for developing viable diagnostics and vaccine.
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 17 September 2008]: The badger vaccine study, which is designed to collect data on the safety and efficacy of Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) as an injectable vaccine against bovine TB, is due to be completed by March 2010. The field work finishes in autumn 2009. An evaluation of the work will be published once the results have been analysed and findings have been peer reviewed."
October 16 2008 ~ "It is unhelpful that no test exists to determine the presence of TB in live badgers and this has undoubtedly made matters worse."
Norman Baker, MP holds responsibilities within the Lib Dems for both agriculture and animal welfare issues. His informed and unpolarised approach to the subject of bovine TB:
".... It is unhelpful that no test exists to determine the presence of TB in live badgers and this has undoubtedly made matters worse. The absence of any vaccine for cattle is also a serious drawback and I regularly push Ministers for more work to be done on this front. In the meantime however I am afraid I have reluctantly concluded that there is a case for the removal of badgers from infected areas, providing this is done comprehensively and of course humanely.It is unclear whether the University of Warwick's department of Biological Sciences 2006 research using PCR diagnosis on badger setts and latrines ever led anywhere. As they wrote more than two years ago: ".... we would prefer that culling is targeted at diseased and infectious animals - indeed cattle, badgers or other wildlife hosts -, rather than see a policy of untargeted culling..."
The Krebs trials were not carried out properly and because of that, they have indeed, in my view, made matters worse...." Read in full