Trust completes another year of badger vaccinations

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has completed another year of a scheme to vaccinate badgers against bovine tuberculosis across a number of its sites in Staffordshire.

The Trust resumed its badger vaccination programme this year thanks to the hard work of the Trust’s team of dedicated volunteers and licensed staff.

The charity was dismayed earlier this year after hearing that proposals to extend licensed badger culling in the county were approved by Natural England.

This year, culls have been licensed in Staffordshire and Cumbria, in addition to the existing areas of Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Cornwall, Devon, Herefordshire, Cheshire and Wiltshire.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is very conscious of the hardship that bovine tuberculosis (bTB) causes in the farming community and the need to find the right mechanisms to control the disease. However, we believe that a badger cull is not the answer.

Scientific evidence has demonstrated that culling is likely to be ineffective in fighting the disease. We believe the emphasis of all our efforts should be to find a long-term solution and we are calling for the Government to end its policy of culling badgers.

Jeff Sim, Land Team Management Manager for the Trust, said: “We are urging the Government to drop badger culling from its bTB strategy and prioritise badger vaccination, alongside a comprehensive package of cattle measures; better biosecurity, stricter movement controls, improved TB testing and development of a cattle vaccine.

“We want to do more badger vaccination now and on a larger scale.”

The Trust is continuing to lobby against the cull and is encouraging people to get involved by writing to their local MP. There are guidelines about writing to your local MP here along with more info about the Trust’s work in Staffordshire at www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/badgers