A COUNTRYSIDE watchdog has welcomed the news that bovineTB vaccination trials are set to get underway in England and Wales.

The Government made the announcement last week following a major breakthrough by government scientists. Defra said the trials will enable work to accelerate towards the planned deployment of a cattle vaccine by 2025.The field trials will be conducted over the next four years on behalf of Defra, the Welsh government and the Scottish government, following 20 years of ground-breaking research into bovine TB vaccines and diagnostic tests.

Following this news, Country Land and Business Association (CLA) President Mark Bridgeman said:“It’s encouraging to hear that the approval for these field trials to combat TB have been met.While we are excited to see the results from this long-term eradication strategy, culling should remain an option where local epidemiology suggests it can make a big impact.

“We also welcome the intention to support livestock keepers in introducing improved biosecurity on their holdings and reduce high risk cattle trading between farms.”

Defra secretary George Eustice said: “This scientific breakthrough is a major step forwards in our battle to see the disease eradicated from this country.