Local Wildlife Trusts will pursue badger vaccination as a means of tackling bovine TB in the pilot badger cull areas announced today.
Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape for The Wildlife Trusts, said:
“The Wildlife Trusts are taking the lead in using vaccination to address the problem of bovine TB. During 2011, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust pioneered a badger vaccination programme on its reserves, which it is now expanding. Should the pilot cull go ahead, Gloucestershire and Somerset Wildlife Trusts will vaccinate badgers on their nature reserves within the pilot areas.
“A badger cull is not the right solution and the Government should be focusing on other measures to tackle bovine TB. The priority should be preventing transmission of the disease on-farm, through improved biosecurity, badger vaccination and making swift progress on a cattle vaccine.”
The Wildlife Trusts believe that Defra should pursue the following as a matter of priority:
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust was the first non-governmental organisation to begin deployment of the injectable BadgerBCG vaccine on seven of its nature reserves. The outcomes from the first year of this five-year vaccination programme are available in a published report at: www.wildlifetrusts.org/badgers-and-bovineTB.
Anna Guthrie (Media & PR Manager)
Office: 01636 670075
Mobile: 07887 754659
Emma Bradshaw (Marketing Manager - Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust)
Main Switchboard: 01452 383333
Mobile: 07740 922193
Beth Jerrett (Communications & PR Manager - Somerset Wildlife Trust)
Office: 01823 652413