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Britain eyes badger disease vaccinations

Nov. 9, 2012 at 7:38 PM

LONDON, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- British badgers could be vaccinated against tuberculosis that can spread to cattle -- instead of being culled as planned -- a parliamentary committee suggests.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee said Friday it would examine the feasibility of giving the badgers and cattle a vaccine against bovine tuberculosis, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The inquiry comes weeks after the government badger cull was delayed for a year amid protest from animal rights advocates.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson postponed the cull late last month.

The Parliamentary committee said it would investigate the possibility of a vaccination program in terms of costs and efficacy.

"Vaccination is another tool and one that we would all like to be able to deploy more widely," Paterson said. "Unfortunately we're not there yet in terms of its development or practicality. If we had a viable and legal cattle vaccine, we would be using it."

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