As part of DEFRA's commitment to tackling the issue of bovine TB (bTB), we have invested in a significant research programme looking into the development of vaccines for both cattle and badgers. The total investment (since 1998) in vaccine development reached more than £17.8 million by March 2008, with over £5.5 million invested in cattle and badger vaccine research last financial year (2007-08).
The increased funding will not result in a vaccine being available sooner. While the programme of research has been designed to minimise the time required to deliver licensed vaccines, research by its nature takes time and a significant proportion of the work can only be addressed sequentially.
The exact scope and cost of the research projects is in the process of being finalised, approximate projected spending is shown in the following table:
|Estimated spend (£ million)|
|Vaccine type||2008-09||2009-2011||Total for CSR period|
|Badger (injectable and oral)||2.3||4.7||7|
|Cattle (including diagnostic test)||4.3||8.7||13|
The larger budget for cattle research reflects the high costs of keeping infected cattle under stringent biosecurity containment in the laboratory.