Supporting detail:

Cattle vaccines

Used alongside existing bovine tuberculosis (TB) control measures, vaccination could in future reduce how widespread and severe the disease is in cattle.

However, there is currently no licensed cattle vaccine available for use against bovine TB. BCG-based cattle vaccine is banned in the EU because it interferes with the tuberculin TB skin test and there is currently no validated test to differentiate infected from vaccinated animals (a ‘DIVA test’).

In January 2013 the EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy wrote to the Secretary of State setting out a tentative timeline for possible use of a TB cattle vaccine. Defra is currently working on the design of the large-scale, long-lasting field trials which would be needed to prove how effective a cattle vaccine would be.

Our bovine TB research programme includes work on the development of vaccines to combat bovine TB.