NFU welcomes Defra study to tackle bovine TB

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The UK National Farmers Union (NFU) this week said it was pleased
that Defra has eventually published its "scoping study" to pave the
way for development of a vaccine to fight bovine TB.

The study, published on 12 December - has been put together by the UK's department of food and rural affairs (Defra's) independent scientific group and follows pressure from the NFU for more work to tackle the growing spread of the disease.

NFU​ deputy president Tim Bennett said: "Bovine TB is a rapidly escalating problem in both cattle and wildlife populations, and the government has been slow to develop a strategy including vaccines to control this disease.

"No more time must be lost in developing every available method of tackling this disease and field trials on badgers should start immediately."

The study looked at the potential use of vaccines for both cattle and badgers.

According to the NFU, this was the primary goal of a joint action plan signed by the country's leading vets and farming organisations following an NFU-organised conference earlier this year.

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