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 STOKE-ON-TRENT, NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME, STAFFORDSHIRE MOORLANDS, SOUTH CHESHIRE

Wildlife charity continues badger vaccination programme


Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s annual badger vaccination programme is underway.


The Trust began vaccinating badgers as an alternative to culling ten years ago, in 2013. The charity strongly believes this, along with the roll out of a cattle vaccination programme, and better biosecurity around cattle movements, offers far greater and sustainable prevention of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) transmission than continuing to cull badgers.


In the past 10 years 13,911 badgers have been killed in Staffordshire, contributing to a total loss of 210,555 badgers nationally under government cull licences. According to The Badger Trust this represents up to half of the entire UK badger population.


Jeff Sim, Head of Reserves and Species Recovery for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust says:


“We completely understand the hardship faced by farmers who lose cattle to bTB but we strongly believe vaccinating both cattle and badgers is the answer. The thousands of badgers culled each year are never tested, so countless healthy badgers have been lost needlessly.


“Badger vaccinations are a cost effective way of helping to protect farmer’s livestock and they remove the need to kill a protected species of British wildlife which has been around for millions of years.”


Findings from independent research make a strong case that an alternative to culling would provide a far more effective solution and give greater protection to livestock. For example, the Independent Scientific Group research from the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) found evidence that badger culling can actually cause the disease to spread more widely, as the animals’ territorial boundaries are disturbed which leads to the increased movement of badgers.


Jeff continues: “It’s disheartening that more badgers will be culled in Staffordshire this year. Ultimately we want to support the farming community AND prevent the loss of badgers. We must work together to find the right mechanisms to control the disease – we’re certain that combining badger and cattle vaccination programmes is the way forward. We continue to call on the government to stop the cull of this iconic animal and make alternative investment into a wide scale and long term vaccination programme.”


The badger vaccination programme costs Staffordshire Wildlife Trust around £5,600 to run per year, which enables the vaccination of badgers on its nature reserves. The charity is asking for help from supporters to raise awareness and funds to continue their efforts to vaccinate badgers.


To support Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s vaccination programme, visit the website at https://www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/badger-appeal

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