Updated: 08/02/17 : 07:11:18
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Keep TB Vaccine trial results in context - IFA

Commenting on the results of the field scale trial of badger vaccination against TB in Kilkenny, Bert Stewart IFA Animal Health Chairman said it is important to keep these results in context. He said the project indicated a protective effect for badgers within the area; this cannot conclude, nor is it concluding, that vaccination will be as effective as the current Wildlife Control Programme in reducing the spread of TB to cattle.

Bert Stewart said IFA has engaged proactively with the Department of Agriculture Wildlife Unit, in particular, in agreeing conditions for the six field trials taking place throughout the country to establish the effectiveness of vaccination in reducing TB in cattle.

The IFA Chairman said until these trials are concluded and the results analysed in detail the effectiveness of vaccination compared to removal cannot be determined.

Bert Stewart said IFA fought long and hard to have the current Wildlife Control programme established in the early 2000s and farmers and government are seeing the benefits with the reduction in TB levels that has been achieved since then. He said any changes to this policy can only be based on solid evidence of an alternative approach providing higher levels of protection for our cattle from TB.