Campaigners working to vaccinate badgers against bovine TB are celebrating hitting a milestone.
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has now vaccinated 65 badgers since resuming its campaign.
A key factor in the vaccination boost has been the amount of people who have pledged their time to help the trust fulfil its aim - with more than 80 volunteers.
With the threat of bovine TB still hanging over British farmers, wildlife trusts across the country argue that vaccinating badgers, which are known to carry the disease, is a better solution to the problem than culling them. Vaccinations will continue throughout the summer and autumn.
Farmer Karen Hinkley recently asked the trust to vaccinate on her land in Ashover.
She said: “I am absolutely delighted that Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has recently vaccinated the badgers on my farm. Over the last twelve months, the badger group’s dedicated volunteers put in an immense amount of hard work, often battling through jungle like undergrowth, surveying all areas to locate the setts in preparation for baiting and trapping.”
She added: “Badgers do not deserve persecution. I hope that the vaccination programme will prevent the culling zone extending into Derbyshire and protect these wonderful animals from harm”
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Tim Birch said: “Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is leading the way in showing vaccination of badgers to be a better solution than shooting badgers in helping deal with bovine TB in cattle. It is a lot cheaper to vaccinate badgers and also does not need expensive police operations to implement.
“We will continue to roll out our vaccination programme across Derbyshire and are very keen to hear from landowners interested in vaccinating their badgers.”