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Badger vaccination resumes

Thursday 6th July 2017

badger vaccination resumesBadger released after vaccination. Tom Marshall

Three Wildlife Trusts, including the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), have resumed the vaccination of badgers against bovine tuberculosis (bTB), one year after vaccine supplies dried up.

A new supply of vaccine has been obtained by BBOWT, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust following several months negotiating supplies and obtaining permission from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate to import the InterVax TB vaccine.

BBOWT set up a Mammal Project in April 2014 to vaccinate badgers on key BBOWT nature reserves. Several BBOWT staff trained with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) to be able to carry out badger vaccinations in a safe and humane way.

BBOWT’s badger vaccination programme resumed this week and will continue through the remainder of the vaccination season, which runs until November. Badgers will be trapped and vaccinated in a 15km2 project area around the nature reserve at Greenham Common in West Berkshire, before the team moves to nature reserves in west Oxfordshire. Find out more about BBOWT's badger vaccination programme.

Defra is committed to securing vaccine for badger vaccination programmes in 2018 and Trusts will be discussing this renewed support this summer.

More about badger vaccination. The Wildlife Trusts are firmly opposed to the badger cull.

In December 2015, the World Health Organization announced that there was a global shortage of TB vaccine for humans. This meant that The Wildlife Trusts had to suspend their badger vaccination programmes during 2016.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has been carrying out the badger vaccination programme across Derbyshire since 2014, working with farmers and landowners. Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust will begin vaccinating badgers on a large area on the Nottinghamshire/Leicestershire border imminently. Vaccination will continue until autumn and will build on previous work which began in 2015 to build TB immunity in Nottinghamshire’s badgers.