The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has welcomed the launch of the second phase of field trials for a cattle BCG vaccine and skin test in England as an important step in the collaborative efforts by the veterinary profession, the scientific community, government and industry to tackle bovine TB.
Phase 2 of the trials, which was announced by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) earlier this week (6 February), will cover at least five commercial livestock farms and 600 animals to assess the safety of the CattleBCG vaccine and the safety and performance of the DIVA skin test in vaccinated cattle. It follows the completion of Phase 1 trials in England, which looked at the safety and performance of the skin test in unvaccinated cattle.
Responding to the announcement, BVA President Malcolm Morley said:
“Bovine TB is a devasting disease with far-reaching consequences for farmers, cattle and wildlife. It’s therefore very promising to see the next stage of field trials of the BCG vaccine and skin test getting underway, marking an important milestone in the ongoing collaborative efforts of the veterinary profession, the scientific community, government and industry to tackle this disease.
“BVA identified the development of a vaccine and test as a research priority that could have significant impact on bovine TB eradication in the UK and globally, alongside other disease control measures. We look forward to seeing the results of these trials.”
BVA’s bovine TB policy position can be viewed here: https://www.bva.co.uk/take-action/our-policies/bovine-tuberculosis/