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Bovine TB
Provisional timetable for deploying a cattle TB vaccine

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A PROVISIONAL timetable for developing a workable cattle vaccine for bovine TB has been agreed at a European level – but the legal and scientific process required before it could be deployed could take up to 10 years.

So said Owen Paterson, Secretary of State at Defra, in response to a question in the House of Commons on January 24. Mr Paterson was asked by Stephen Phillips, Conservative MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham, for details of the most recent assessment regarding the deployment of a vaccine for cattle.

Mr Paterson told MPs that he had met with Tonio Borg, the EU Health Commissioner, to agree a way forward on cattle vaccination. Commissioner Borg had since responded in writing, outlining a provisional timetable. Mr Paterson added that the letter also acknowledged the UK's leading role in pressing forward on a cattle vaccine and, for the first time, recognised that the country was on course to deploy a vaccine.

Commissioner Borg's letter, dated January 14, deals with a number of other issues surrounding bovine TB. In it, he welcomes the commitments made by the authorities in the UK outlined in the bovine TB …

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