Ground-breaking scientific research aimed at detecting tuberculosis in cattle (bTB) will take place after five projects were awarded a combined investment of £500,000.
bTB is one of the most difficult and intractable animal health challenges that England faces today. More than 30,000 cattle are slaughtered each year due to bTB and cattle diagnostics are one of a range of tools that will help the country eradicate the disease in England by 2038 as we shift away from badger culling.
The programme, run by Defra on behalf of England, Scotland and Wales, will fund innovative research projects using cutting-edge technologies such as machine learning aimed at detecting infection in cattle herds faster.
Five schemes, led by various leading research institutes, have been selected to receive up to £100,000 each for up to 12 months for proof of concept research.
UK Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer Richard Irvine said: “Bovine TB leads to the slaughter of over 30,000 cattle every year and considerable trauma for farmers as they suffer the loss of highly prized animals and valued herds.
This investment, which we hope will enable infection to be diagnosed and acted upon more quickly in the future, underlines the government’s commitment to invest in world-leading scientific research in our battle to tackle this insidious disease.”