The review will be led and overseen by Professor Sir Charles Godfray, Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food at the University of Oxford. He will be supported by a small working group. The review is expected to begin in March and finish by the end of September 2018.
PBD Biotech has developed a new, rapid test for bovine TB, and other mycobacterial infections, that can identify live bacteria in blood or milk. The test, called Actiphage®, differs from all existing technology as it directly and rapidly detects the presence of live bacteria at an early stage of infection and would allow improved management of this disease which has destroyed herds and the livelihood of livestock farmers. It hopes that the review will consider new technologies such as Actiphage as part of a portfolio of measures to combat the disease.
The review’s terms of reference set out what it will look at and how it will be carried out.
The review will:
- consider and advise on the opportunities for improved application, enhancement or acceleration of the interventions set out in the Strategy, including cattle vaccination, oral badger vaccination, improved genetic resistance and improved diagnostic tests, or to deploy new tools and/or technologies to fight the disease
- consider how delivery is monitored and how impact of the Strategy is evaluated (and what that tells us about progress of the disease and the dynamics of its spread), and make recommendations as to whether and how these can be improved
- advise on gaps in the available evidence and disease control tools. Recommend options to address these (including the application of epidemiology and research) to achieve the aims of the Strategy.
- The Rt Hon Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs comments in a letter that the aim of the review “is to identify what actions we could take now to ensure that other
- elements of the strategy such as cattle vaccination or improved genetic resistance, are ready to deploy at later phases of the strategy.”