Antoinette Sandbach – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Antoinette Sandbach on 2016-02-01.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the effect of a lack of bovine TB vaccine on the spread of bovine TB in the areas that border Wales.

George Eustice

Following advice from Public Health England on the need to prioritise available stocks for humans, the Government has taken the decision to suspend attempts to source BCG vaccine for the Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme and other private badger vaccination deployment projects in England until the supply situation is resolved. This follows the decision of the Welsh Government to do the same. Our long-term research to develop an oral TB vaccine for badgers and an effective TB vaccine for cattle is not expected to be affected by the current supply issue.

The Government is continuing to take strong action to deliver a long-term plan to eradicate the disease and protect the future of the UK’s dairy and beef industries. The comprehensive strategy includes strengthening cattle testing and movement controls, improving biosecurity on farm and when trading, and badger control in areas where TB is rife. Bovine TB policy is a devolved matter but my department liaises closely with the Welsh Government on matters of common interest, including the impact of the current hiatus in badger vaccination in both England and Wales.