Early this morning a dedicated team of volunteers vaccinated the 200th badger of the year as part of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s badger vaccination programme.
This is the most badgers the team have managed to vaccinate in one year and there are still several rounds of vaccinations scheduled to take place throughout autumn.
Debbie Bailey, lead badger vaccination coordinator at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said,
”We continue to show that vaccination is a viable option to culling badgers. With the help of our dedicated volunteers and partners we have had our most successful vaccination season so far. This morning we brought the total number of badgers vaccinated to 203 in 2018 – that’s an amazing achievement.”
The Trust’s vaccination programme is now the largest and most effective badger vaccination project in the country. Debbie adds,
“We continue to train and inspire more volunteers to join our programme. It is only getting bigger as more landowners and farmers see vaccination as the alternative to shooting badgers in the fight against bovine TB.”
Currently there are no plans for a cull of badgers in Derbyshire in 2018 despite the recent expansion of the cull across England authorised by the Government. However Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is aware that a number of farmers and landowners are keen for a cull in the county and that licences to cull may be issued for 2019.
Tim Birch, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Head of Living Landscapes said,
“All the hard work is paying off. Here in Derbyshire we are showing that a volunteer led vaccination programme of badgers can be effectively carried out and as a result we want to see vaccination rolled out across the UK rather than the cull.
There is absolutely no justification for the culling of badgers to come to Derbyshire. Bovine TB is primarily a disease of cattle, transmitted mainly by cattle and we believe there needs to be improvements in biosecurity on farms in Derbyshire so that cattle and badger interactions are minimised alongside the rolling out of badger vaccination programmes across the country. Badgers are being used as scapegoats which is unacceptable. We will continue to work tirelessly to stop any badger cull coming to Derbyshire.”
The Trust is continuing to raise funds to support the vaccination programme. If you can help them with this important work, please do. You can donate via their website, www.derbyshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/donate, by calling 01773 881188 or by sending a cheque to Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Sandy Hill, Main Street, Middleton, DE4 4LR.
To learn more about the Trust’s vaccination scheme please visit www.derbyshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/badgers.
Photo credit: Georgie Hutton, High Peak Badger Group