Sue Mayer tells us more about badgers vaccinations.

Just last week a one-day bovine tuberculosis (bTB) conference took place down in Cirencester to provide a platform for famers and industry experts to discuss the latest developments in bTB control.

Our Chair of Trustees, Sue Mayer went down to the convention and let us know a little more about what went on.  Sue’s work history is as veterinary surgeon with a PhD in veterinary immunology, so we couldn’t wait to hear what she had to say!

“One thing that is really important now is to make sure more vets and farmers know that badger vaccination are a practical alternative to the cull as all our amazing work here in Derbyshire over the past 5 years has shown. 

I was really pleased that at out vaccination Symposium, we were invited along to a TB Advisory Service conference for farmers in Cirencester this week to have a stand about the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust /National Trust badger vaccination project. Elizabeth Powell, another vet and I got a display together and went down! 

Tb symposium

Elizabeth is now one of the vaccination coordinators so we had lots of first hand experience to offer to attendees. There were 150 people there, mainly farmers and vets and we were really pleased to see there was plenty of interest in our work, although, one common question was 'where is the evidence that vaccination will help reduce TB in cattle?’. Although we know vaccination is effective in reducing TB in badgers and there is every reason to suppose it will help if badgers are a disease reservoir, there has never been an investment in answering the question.

We found some time to have a look around the event and there was plenty of other interesting stands and talks at the conference.   Most importantly there was a welcome focus on the role of cattle movements and the fact that testing often misses infected cattle especially in the early stages of the disease. Badgers weren't seen as the main culprit for once!”

Tb symposium