Tim Birch, Head of Living Landscapes North at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said “We do not believe shooting of badgers is ever an appropriate way of controlling bovine TB in cattle. The findings from the analysis of dead badgers indicates that there is no justification, based on claims that badgers are a source of TB, for a cull in Derbyshire. The level of bovine TB in badgers is very low indeed and vaccination of badgers in Derbyshire is the way forward. Vaccination is also better than culling even where there is evidence of TB in badgers.”
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has been vaccinating badgers since 2014 and now has the largest badger vaccination programme in the country. Only three weeks ago the Trust announced it received £181,906.76 funding from the Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to significantly expand its badger vaccination project over the next four years.
The Trust is also running a national training programme for badger vaccination, working with the Government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). This training programme begins in Edale today, March 7 2018, and volunteers from across England will receive training in how to monitor and catch badgers for vaccination.
Debbie Bailey, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Badger Vaccination Co-ordinator said “We are leading the way on badger vaccination nationally. Our vaccination programme will be expanding this year across the county and we will continue to show that there is a viable alternative to shooting badgers. Our professionalism in vaccinating badgers is recognised by the Government who are now working closely with us on training volunteers from across the country in how to trap and vaccinate badgers.”