UK begins field trials for bovine TB vaccine

The UK's Animal and Plant Health Agency has appointed Eville and Jones to oversee field trials for bovine TB vaccine.
calendar icon 1 January 2021
clock icon 2 minute read

Clinical research organisation Eville & Jones has been appointed by the APHA to run field trials of the bovine tuberculosis (TB) cattle vaccine (CattleBCG) and companion DIVA (Detecting Infected amongst Vaccinated Animals) skin test.

In July, Bovine TB (bTB) cattle vaccination trials were given the go-ahead in England and Wales in a bid to develop a cattle vaccine by 2025. The vaccine trials follow 20 years of research by government scientists and will be conducted over the next four years on behalf of Defra and the Welsh and Scottish governments.


A statement from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) reads: "Following an open competition, the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has awarded a contract to Eville & Jones, to run veterinary field trials of CattleBCG vaccine and the companion DIVA (Detecting Infected amongst Vaccinated Animals) skin test.

"Eville & Jones have brought together an experienced team to deliver the project. APHA will now start to work with Eville & Jones and the project team to confirm timelines and identify suitable herds for the field trials scheduled to start next year.

"The field trials will be conducted on behalf of Defra, the Welsh Government and the Scottish Government, following more than 20 years of ground-breaking research into bovine TB vaccines and diagnostic tests.

"Further information about the next stages of the field trials will be communicated in due course."

The vaccine trials are one of several measures to eradicate bTB in England by 2038. Other measures include plans to phase out intensive badger culling in England, improve the cattle testing regime and vaccinate more badgers against the disease.


Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “Bovine TB is a slow-moving and insidious disease which can cause considerable trauma for farmers as they suffer the loss of highly prized animals and valued herds.

“This scientific breakthrough is a major step forwards in our battle to see the disease eradicated from this country. As wider preventative measures like cattle vaccines are introduced, we will accelerate other elements of our strategy and start to phase out badger culling in England, as no one wants to continue the cull of a protected species indefinitely.”

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