Badger vaccination programme begins in West Somerset
Friday 5th October 2012
Badger vaccine cpt Tom Marshall
Somerset Wildlife Trust is set to begin a badger vaccination programme in the West of the county.
The county’s leading environmental voluntary body will not allow culling to take place on land it owns and will start a badger vaccination programme next week.
Twelve hectares of land in the affected area have been surveyed to ascertain the location of badger setts. Contractors, trained and licensed by Defra, will adminster the injectable badgerBCG vaccine over the next six weeks.
Simon Nash, Chief Executive of Somerset Wildlife Trust, said:
“We recognise the hardship that bovineTB (bTB) causes in the farming community and the need to find the right mechanisms to control the disease. However, we believe that a badger cull is not the answer and that the proposed method of culling could make bTB worse.
“To ensure we play our part in controlling the reservoir of disease we are vaccinating badgers on our land affected by the cull.”
Somerset is one of 11 Wildlife Trusts now working on badger vaccination programmes to prove vaccination is the best way forward to tackle bTB.
As a movement, The Wildlife Trusts is keen for the farming community, conservation organisations and the Government to continue to work together to confront this disease through the following measures:
• Biosecurity: All possible measures should be pursued to prevent disease transmission on-farm
• Badger vaccination: Support landowners to use the injectable BadgerBCG vaccine. We also urge Defra to continue development of an oral badger vaccine
• Cattle vaccine: Complete development of a cattle vaccine and secure change to EU regulation to permit its commercial deployment.
Media enquiries/further information: Contact PR and communications manager Beth Jerrett on 01823-652413 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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