The findings come from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Surrey.

At present, vaccinating cows against bovine TB goes against EU law. Current vaccines make healthy cows appear infected, blocking their overseas trade or sale. The new test could enable government officials to ask the EU to change the law but the process “may take years,” according to Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens.

Bovine TB, supposedly spread by badgers, is a major problem the UK and the government recently granted culling licenses. The action has angered many animal rights activists and celebrities such as Queen guitarist Brian May and Stephen Fry who consider themselves a part of ‘Team Badger.’

Those opposed to the cull, including charity RSPCA, are planning a peaceful protest. “Those who care will not want to visit areas or buy milk from farms soaked in badgers’ blood,” said Gavin Grant, RSPCA’s chief executive.

The controversial culls are sent to take place within the next fortnight in Gloucestershire and Somerset and could take out over a third of the UK badger population.

Image via Getty.