Wildlife group plans to vaccinate badgers

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A wildlife group is calling for action to save badgers from being culled in order to prevent the further spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB).

The Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is appealing to the public to help raise funds for a vaccination programme for badgers, which are believed to carry the disease and transfer it to cattle.

Following a debate in Parliament on Wednesday, June 5, The majority of MPs voted in favour of keeping the pilot badger culls currently taking place in the south west.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust conservation manager Tim Birch said: “The science is perfectly clear that a cull will not solve the problem of bTB.

“With the huge cost of policing the cull it is also clear that shooting badgers will be more expensive than vaccinating them.”

The trust is asking people to support its five–year programme to inject badgers will the BCG vaccine.

Mr Birch added: “Science has already proven that culling provokes disturbed behaviour in badgers, leading to movement between normally settled groups. This could make the bTB situation worse as the badgers move from a cull zone and spread the disease to new areas.

“We are aiming to trap and vaccinate badgers within specific locations over a five–year period. This will involve obtaining licences, buying vaccine and traps and training vaccinators. The cost over five years will come to around £50,000.”

To support the programme send a cheque to Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Badger Appeal, East Mill, Bridge Foot, Belper, DE56 1XH or visit www.derbyshirewildlifetrust.org.uk