Badger Trust launches vaccination programme
A four-year programme to vaccinate Somerset badgers against bovine TB (bTB) has begun in an attempt to reduce the number of animals cull.
According to the Somerset Badger Group (SBG), the programme is part of a country-wide plan to offer vaccination opportunities to farmers and landowners. Chairman of the SBG Adrian Coward explained that areas of Somerset and Gloucestershire are designated “badger killing areas” pending an Appeal Court hearing next month.
He said: “Our members are delighted to be working alongside farmers. On behalf of the badgers and farmers we want to take advantage of the recently licenced vaccine to help constructively with the battle against bTB.
“During field trials the vaccine has been proved to be effective in at least 74% of badgers vaccinated. It is the modern, scientific way to conquer the disease and — unlike culling — does not carry the risk of causing infection to spread.”
Currently SBG are working alongside the Secret World Wildlife Rescue of Highbridge, Somerset, which is supported by the Badger Trust and Network for Animals. The organisations plan to humanly trap badgers in cages before giving them a health screening and a vaccination as an alternative to killing badgers.
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