Friday, 25 July 2014

Government invites applicants for funding to vaccinate badgers in 11 English counties

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has reopened its 2014 scheme to fund badger vaccination in selected English counties, in areas close to high-risk bovine TB (bTB) hotspots.

First launched in April, the take up then was slow, with many farmers in heavily infected areas being sceptical about the effectiveness of vaccination as it does not address disease in already infected badgers.

However, also planned is a new Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (BEVS) to be launched towards the end of the year, where the aim is to slow the onward spread of bTB from high risk areas, creating buffer zones to prevent the disease being carried out of the hotspots by sick badgers.

The move, welcomed by Care for the Wild and the Badger Trust, will fund the inoculation of badgers against the disease, and the training to administer the vaccine.

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