South Down MP Margaret Ritchie (SDLP) has responded to a report released by the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee which suggests that vaccinations and testing for Bovine TB are not yet advanced enough to be effective in identifying and tackling Bovine TB.
Ms Ritchie who is a member of the Committee said: “Currently, the only treatment vaccine available is Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) which does not provide adequate protection from Bovine TB.
EFRA Committee Report shows that vaccines and testing are still inconclusive and that it will still be a number of years before the science is advanced enough to adequately identify and treat the disease.
“Farmers in Northern Ireland face innumerable problems and combating Bovine TB is one of the most serious challenges facing the community. The report states that finding a scientific solution will take up to ten years.
“All options need to be explored to ensure that the farming community is protected and supported in the interim. We cannot allow this disease to impact farmers’ herds, incomes, and livelihoods with this continued devastation.
“Detailed studies have led to the conclusion in the report that all options must be explored – including culling and vaccination. The bottom line is that the health of livestock, the farming industry and consumers themselves must be protected. Every support that can be given in tackling this devastating disease must be provided,” added Ms Ritchie.