Fresh from the horse meat scandal, DEFRA has found itself in a new controversy, having again failed the British consumer in food traceability and labelling. The public now knows that over 20,000 cattle infected with bovine TB enter the food chain in the UK each year, and the government doesn't know where they go, where they are sold, and who is eating them.
The vaccination, like all vaccinations, will not cure any badgers that have already been infected. If the percentage of badgers with infection is particularly high in one area, it may already be too late to use the vaccination there. Vaccinating the badgers in these areas will have very little effect on the spread of bTB to cattle, and will cost a vast amount of money.
It's important to put paid to some of the other myths that have grown up around this issue. The most up to date scientific advice available shows that a programme that tackles TB on all fronts at the same time, including in wildlife, will significantly reduce the problem. What's happened in other countries backs this up.
So where in the world can you find the highest rates of drug-resistant tuberculosis? I'll give you a clue - it also happens to be one of only two regions in the world where the number of new HIV cases continues to rise every year. It's not Africa. It's not South America or even Asia. It's the European region.
No one denies that TB in cattle is a serious problem. It results in the premature slaughter of many thousands of cattle each year, with devastating impacts for farmers, and at a huge cost to the taxpayer in testing, inspection and compensation. But killing badgers isn't going to reduce TB in cattle.
This year on World TB Day, the news that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria no longer has the resources to continue expanding its work is catastrophic for the 3,800 people dying every day from TB and for 33.4 million people living with HIV for whom TB is the leading cause of death.