Badger Vaccination

BENEFITS OF VACCINATING BADGERS

  • Results in 74% fewer badgers testing positive for Bovine Tb
  • Cubs born into vaccinated groups have 80% less chance of getting Bovine Tb
  • Only 30% of the badgers need to be vaccinated to start protecting unvaccinated cubs
  • Reduces progression, severity and excretion of Bovine Tb in already infected badgers
  • Vaccinating badgers does not disturb the social behaviour of badger groups. The perturbation effect where         removal of badgers causes disruption and potential disease spread is avoided
  • Reduces potential disease spread to cattle on farms where badgers are vaccinated

In March of last year, the government issued its review of the Godfray Report detailing it’s ‘Next Steps Strategy’ in dealing with bovine tuberculosis, including its aim, over the next few years, to move away from intensive badger culling to a government-supported badger vaccination scheme.

The Devon Badger Group fully supports the government’s initiative and would like to work with, and support farmers and landowners who have decided not to, or who are unable to participate in the badger cull, with a view to delivering badger vaccination via a Government backed scheme.

Devon Badger Group would be working in collaboration with Somerset Badger Group, who currently hold the Natural England Licences to vaccinate badgers in Somerset, Devon, Gloucestershire, and Wiltshire and are also collaborating with Avon Wildlife Trust and Oxfordshire Badger Group. They have delivered badger vaccination on commercial farms and other landholdings totalling around 6,000 acres, vaccinating 577 badgers.  They are well respected by the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) who run the Badger Vaccination Deployment Programme and who are responsible for training Lay Vaccinators.

Coronavirus – The safety of everyone involved in badger vaccination during this unprecedented situation is our top priority and we will be following the Government guidelines to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the Coronavirus. Strict protocols will be in place to ensure infection control principles are adhered to including social distancing and the wearing of personal protective equipment.

The Vaccination Process, what’s involved:

  • Carry out a detailed survey at no cost and no obligation to estimate the number of badgers
  • Apply to Natural England to add land holding to licence
  • Agree timescales for trap deployment, pre-baiting, trap setting and vaccination over a period of 2-3 weeks
  • A recommendation of the license is to vaccinate badgers on the farm/landholding each year for at least 4  years

    The video below shows a vaccinator from Somerset Badger Group at work.

If you would like to know more about badger vaccination then please contact Jenny Pike by emailing devonbadgergroup@gmail.com or by phoning 07791 490572, or Vanessa Mason by emailing vanessa@somersetbadgers.org.uk  or by phoning 01643 821241 or 07774 127313.