Welsh officials have announced plans to work with the National Trust on a vaccination programme to try and curb the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in badgers.

Welsh officials have announced plans to work with the National Trust on a vaccination programme to try and curb the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in badgers.

Badgers being vaccinated in WalesMeanwhile, in England, the Badger Trust has lodged an appeal against a recent High Court decision to allow culling in Somerset and Gloucester.

In March 2012, the Welsh Government announced it was dropping plans for a targeted cull and would be pursuing a vaccination policy instead. Then, on July 23, Welsh environment minister John Griffiths outlined plans to vaccinate badgers on National Trust land, as well as within the Intensive Action Area (IAA) around North Pembrokeshire.

He said: “The National Trust is obviously a substantial land owner within Wales, and joint working with them is great news for our efforts to tackle bTB.”

“We have already begun vaccinating in the IAA. At the last count we had vaccinated more than 430 badgers and the programme will continue well into the autumn.

He added: “I am pleased that, since the decision to vaccinate was made, we have been able to take such speedy action to tackle bTB in wildlife within the IAA.

“However, I have always been clear that I also want to explore other areas of Wales where vaccination of badgers could be helpful.”

The National Trust owns 45,000 hectares in Wales, including 200 tenanted farms. Welsh Government and trust officials have scheduled their first meeting to discuss vaccination for September 2012.

Meanwhile, the Badger Trust has said it will do “everything possible” to protect the species in England and has appealed on three grounds against the High Court’s decision to give the green light to DEFRA’s badger cull plans.

“The Badger Trust has not taken the decision to proceed to the Court of Appeal lightly,” a spokesman said. “It underlines the trust’s strong belief that the Government’s proposals to kill badgers in England are likely to do more harm than good.”  

“The science remains unaltered – culling badgers can make no meaningful contribution to the eradication of bTB in Britain and cattle-based measures, stringently applied, would be sufficient.

“Culling badgers – in the hopes of reducing incidence by 12-16% after nine years – is a costly distraction from 84% of the problem.”

Image ©iStockphoto.com/ChrisCrafter
View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz