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Caz Graham is at a lab in Surrey which is developing a cattle vaccine for Bovine TB. The disease is the most serious animal health problem facing England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Whilst the debate rages on about whether a badger cull would reduce TB in cattle, scientists are working on a vaccine which an independent report said would be the best long term hope of solving the problem. Caz finds out how Professor Glyn Hewinson and his team at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency are trialling the BCG vaccine on cattle. It's the jab which many of us were given as teenagers, to protect against TB. The researchers have to test whether the vaccine is working by trying to infect cattle with TB and Caz visits the high security facility where this takes place. Professor Hewinson tells her that developing a cattle vaccine is a lengthy and costly process, but breakthroughs are being made. He believes, if all goes to plan, a vaccine could be licensed in the UK in 2012. Then the long process of convincing the EU to lift a ban on cattle vaccination for TB will begin in earnest. Caz also finds out about VLA research which shows that cattle can transmit TB to each other at an earlier stage in the disease than had been previously thought.

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22 minutes

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Sun 19 Dec 2010 06:35