Debbie takes career break to help badgers

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A High Peak woman has left behind a career in the NHS to train as the county’s first female badger vaccinator.

After 16 years as a nurse, working at Stepping Hill Hospital, Debbie Bailey, who lives in Furness Vale, has taken a three-year career break to train as a vaccinator and help prevent the spread of bovine TB in badgers.

Pilot culls have already taken place in Gloucestershire and Somerset but Debbie says that vaccinating just 70 per cent of the badger population in an area will make a difference.

Debbie, who is now volunteering unpaid for Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, said: “I’ve been studying badgers for three years and I don’t think any wildlife should be killed if there is a better way of dealing with things.

“Financially it is a big step to take but I’m just so passionate about it. I do believe it is going to work so I just thought it’s something I’ve got to try. I know in five years time I won’t regret it. It’s been my best achievement to date.”

She added: “Derbyshire County Council have said they won’t let any culling happen on their land. Derbyshire Wildlife Trust have been fundraising for vaccinations and in the last eight weeks have raised £46,000.

“I’ve been to the cull zone twice and can certainly see the cull is not working.

“For us it is a no-brainer. But unfortunately we have to battle with the government.”

Debbie is holding a badger ball at Furness Vale Social Club on December 7 to raise money towards the vaccination programme. Tickets, priced £5, are available from Debbie on 07549 657 679 or at Halo Hair and Beauty, Whaley Bridge.

Farmers or landowners who want to find out more about vaccination can also contact Debbie via phone or email baileybadgers@hotmail.co.uk.