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Thursday 25th October 2012 | 20:54
Rethink Bovine TB
The Commons motion passed today by an overwhelming majority of 119 does not just condemn the badger cull, it clearly calls for the only realistic solution; "a vaccination programme for badgers and cattle".
It is clear from statements by Defra that the cattle vaccine and the DIVA test to distinguish between infected and vaccinated cattle are ready to license. Cattle vaccination against Bovine TB, on Defra's own figures, would give 56 - 68% efficacy, far more effective than any other proposed action.
Only two obstacles stand in the way. EU law currently forbids vaccination of cattle against Bovine TB, and because of this Defra have failed to carry out field trials to complete the licensing process.
Michael Ritchie, spokesman for Rethink Bovine TB said that "Defra seem to have got completely bogged down in a deadly mixture of their own and the EU's bureaucratic inertia". "The new Defra Ministers have a unique opportunity to make a real difference to farmers and to cattle welfare by standing up to Brussels. With the political will, which the e-petition and today's Commons vote has shown exists, we could be vaccinating cattle and reducing Bovine TB within months"