Government is now considering applications for shooting badgers in Derbyshire

Badger, Terry Whittaker 2020 Vision

The Government is now considering applications for shooting badgers in Derbyshire, yet new evidence shows that Derbyshire badgers have extremely low levels of bovine TB.

Over the past 18 months a total of 57 badgers killed on the roads were collected by the Derbyshire Badger Groups (1). The dead badgers were collected from across the county. These badgers were then analysed for the presence of bovine TB by Professor Malcolm Bennet at the School of Veterinary Medicine at Nottingham University. Only one badger was found to be infected.

These results come at a time when the Government seems determined to press ahead with further badger culls across England. Applications to shoot badgers in Derbyshire are now open for consultation.

Now that consultation to bring the badger cull to Derbyshire has opened, it is more important than ever to support badger vaccination and showcase it as a viable alternative.
Tim Birch
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Tim Birch, Head of Living Landscapes North at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said “We do not believe shooting of badgers is ever an appropriate way of controlling bovine TB in cattle. The findings from the analysis of dead badgers indicates that there is no justification, based on claims that badgers are a source of TB, for a cull in Derbyshire. The level of bovine TB in badgers is very low indeed and vaccination of badgers in Derbyshire is the way forward. Vaccination is also better than culling even where there is evidence of TB in badgers.”

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has been vaccinating badgers since 2014 and now has the largest badger vaccination programme in the country. Only three weeks ago the Trust announced it received £181,906.76 funding from the Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to significantly expand its badger vaccination project over the next four years.

The Trust is also running a national training programme for badger vaccination, working with the Government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). This training programme begins in Edale today, March 7 2018, and volunteers from across England will receive training in how to monitor and catch badgers for vaccination.

Debbie Bailey, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Badger Vaccination Co-ordinator said “We are leading the way on badger vaccination nationally. Our vaccination programme will be expanding this year across the county and we will continue to show that there is a viable alternative to shooting badgers. Our professionalism in vaccinating badgers is recognised by the Government who are now working closely with us on training volunteers from across the country in how to trap and vaccinate badgers.”

The level of bovine TB in badgers is very low indeed and vaccination of badgers in Derbyshire is the way forward.
Tim Birch
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

The Trust remains steadfast that vaccinating badgers is the alternative to a badger cull and if the cull came to Derbyshire they will not allow culling on any of their land. 

Now that consultation to bring the badger cull to Derbyshire has opened, it is more important than ever to support badger vaccination and showcase it as a viable alternative.

How you can help

This important work takes a great deal of the Trust’s time and resources. Thanks to donations received so far, they have been able to train a team of vaccinators and other volunteers to support the vaccination programme.

Please continue to give to this appeal. The more money you raise, the more the Trust can do to help protect Derbyshire’s badgers and fight bovine TB.

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