The Welsh Government has completed the first year of its badger vaccination programme and, in doing so, has vaccinated more than 1,400 badgers, environment minister John Griffiths revealed yesterday (November 28).
The Welsh Government has completed the first year of its badger vaccination programme and, in doing so, has vaccinated more than 1,400 badgers in the Intensive Action Area, environment minister John Griffiths revealed.
The minister announced the figures yesterday (November 28, 2012) as he discussed the Welsh Government’s five year badger vaccination programme, launched as part of a wider programme of work to eradicate bovine TB from cattle in Wales.
This is the first time that a project to cage trap and vaccinate badgers on such an ambitious scale has been carried out.
The minister said: “The field work began in May and comprised eight main work cycles ending in October. A small number of badger setts were also vaccinated during November. Provisional figures indicate that since May we have successfully caught and vaccinated more than 1,400 badgers in the IAA.
“Our vaccination programme has enabled Wales to take quick and decisive action to develop a degree of immunity to TB within the badger population in the IAA. We believe that this should reduce the risk of TB transmission from badgers to cattle and contribute to the eradication of bovine TB over time.”
In addition to the project within the IAA, Mr Griffiths has also asked the chief veterinary officer for Wales to consider other areas where vaccination could contribute to TB eradication.
He explained: “The success of the badger vaccination initiative is dependant on staff being granted access to as much land as possible.”
Concluding, he said: “I will be monitoring the results of vaccination and of our entire eradication programme carefully to ensure we are making good progress towards our ultimate goal of a TB free Wales.
“I will report further in the new year.”