PBD Biotech is offering dairy farmers reduced cost testing to accelerate OIE validation of Actiphage® rapid blood test.

Dairy farmers stricken by bovine TB are now able to use Actiphage® to screen their herds for infection, following new Government guidelines about the use of non-validated tests. PBD Biotech is supporting farmers by reducing the cost of testing, for those prepared to share data that can help in gaining OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) validation.

In November, the Welsh Government clarified how farmers and vets can gain permission for the use of non-validated bovine TB tests. A similar protocol was issued by UK Government last year for cattle herds in England; it includes Actiphage, following the test’s use as part of a successful private eradication plan on Devon dairy farm Gatcombe.

Restrictions over trials have delayed the uptake of the rapid test, which gives a positive or negative result within hours with greater accuracy than the current TB skin test.

Mark Hammond, CEO of PBD Biotech, welcomes the new Government guidelines:

“Vets have been keen to use Actiphage, but uncertainty over approvals and compensation have hindered this. Now the guidelines offer clearer understanding and we are keen to support farmers and vets with trials, particularly where the data can be used as part of our pathway to OIE validation for the Actiphage test.”

In Wales alone, a record 12,799 cattle have been slaughtered this past year because of bovine TB; a 28 per cent increase year on year, with one region recording a 190 per cent increase.

The Actiphage test, which won the Royal Dairy Innovation Award at Dairy-Tech 2019, promises for the first time a method for detecting infection at a very early stage of infection. It can also be used as a quality assurance test in pasteurised and raw milk, infant formula and other dairy products.

The APHA (Animal & Plant Health Agency) has confirmed that within a non-validated trial, where a positive result is confirmed with statutory tests, the animals will be removed with compensation as normal.

Mark Hammond, PBD Biotech CEO, will be speaking in the Innovation Hub at Dairy-Tech 2020 and is part of the judging panel for this year’s Royal Dairy Innovation Award.

More information about PBD Biotech and its reduced cost testing offer for dairy farmers, is available at http://bit.ly/HowToTrialActiphage