Dorset Wildlife Trust to begin vaccinating badgers

Dorset Echo: Picture courtesy of Sam Stewart, Dorset Wildlife Trust Picture courtesy of Sam Stewart, Dorset Wildlife Trust

A WILDLIFE charity in Dorset has started a five-year programme of badger vaccinations.

It follows a pilot cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire earlier this year.

Volunteers and staff at Dorset Wildlife Trust are vaccinating animals on the charity’s nature reserve to demonstrate it is a safe and humane alternative to badger culling.

Chief executive of the trust Simon Cripps said: “We were extremely disappointed to see the government drive forward with the badger cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire in August this year.

“The recent news that the pilot culls have finished with low numbers of badgers being shot, strengthens the need for the government to support alternative methods to culling.” 

He added: “Our understanding from Defra is that if badger culling continues despite these failures, shooting in Dorset is highly likely to start in 2014. 

Thanks to our successful badger vaccination appeal, Dorset Wildlife Trust is pleased to be able to start a vaccination programme on selected nature reserves in Dorset, to both protect badgers and support farmers.”

The controversial cull was supported by many farmers who want to protect their stock from the spread of Bovine Tuberculosis.

Its many opponents include Queen guitarist Brian May, who owns land in Dorset.

The DWT believes that better biosecurity, badger vaccination and, in the long term, cattle vaccination, are more reliable methods of controlling the disease.

A small team of volunteers and DWT staff have completed a badger vaccination course run by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) and have been issued with certificates of competence as lay vaccinators. 

In order to carry out the vaccinations, DWT obtained a license from Natural England and carried out detailed site surveys to identify the best location for humane traps, which were baited with peanuts and clearly labelled when out on-site. The badgers were vaccinated and released unharmed as quickly as possible. 

The charity has produced a series of video clips about the process of badger vaccination.

For details, click here

Comments (14)

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10:24am Tue 10 Dec 13

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE says...

That is a bit cruel, trapping these poor, bovine TB sources and sticking a needle in them then releasing the traumatised animals!
That is a bit cruel, trapping these poor, bovine TB sources and sticking a needle in them then releasing the traumatised animals! IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE

10:55am Tue 10 Dec 13

BAZMAN 2 says...

@ idontknowifitstrue . Don't know much at all really do you . Bovine TB is a disease of cattle spread by cattle that unfortunately gets picked up by badgers . The only answer appears to be to vaccinate cattle and badgers but the E U don't want our vaccinated meat .(Tough ) with our growing population we can use all the meat and dairy products the farming industry can provide and would probably still have to import to make up the deficit.
@ idontknowifitstrue . Don't know much at all really do you . Bovine TB is a disease of cattle spread by cattle that unfortunately gets picked up by badgers . The only answer appears to be to vaccinate cattle and badgers but the E U don't want our vaccinated meat .(Tough ) with our growing population we can use all the meat and dairy products the farming industry can provide and would probably still have to import to make up the deficit. BAZMAN 2

12:34pm Tue 10 Dec 13

rogerout says...

.Well done Dorset wildlife Trust , the more Farmers and other trust landowners that sign up to Veterinary progress the better. As Bazman 2 says Vaccination and improved Cattle Testing and Bio security are the way forward. Too many in government and Politics want to tell you that cattle vaccination is not possible. Science disagrees.
The public should tell government that the slaughter of healthy Wildlife is not acceptable when alternative science based options are available.
.Well done Dorset wildlife Trust , the more Farmers and other trust landowners that sign up to Veterinary progress the better. As Bazman 2 says Vaccination and improved Cattle Testing and Bio security are the way forward. Too many in government and Politics want to tell you that cattle vaccination is not possible. Science disagrees. The public should tell government that the slaughter of healthy Wildlife is not acceptable when alternative science based options are available. rogerout

1:33pm Tue 10 Dec 13

bentleyboy says...

Well done DWT. Anything that will stop the poor badgers being killed is a wonderful plan.
Well done DWT. Anything that will stop the poor badgers being killed is a wonderful plan. bentleyboy

1:59pm Tue 10 Dec 13

Phixer says...

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE wrote:
That is a bit cruel, trapping these poor, bovine TB sources and sticking a needle in them then releasing the traumatised animals!
More cruel than firing a shotgun, missing and injuring an animal?

Which came first? The chicken or the egg? Do badgers spread TB or catch it from cattle belonging to farmers who don't want to spend money on the welfare of their animals?

No chance of deer spreading TB? They are blamed for it in the US.
[quote][p][bold]IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE[/bold] wrote: That is a bit cruel, trapping these poor, bovine TB sources and sticking a needle in them then releasing the traumatised animals![/p][/quote]More cruel than firing a shotgun, missing and injuring an animal? Which came first? The chicken or the egg? Do badgers spread TB or catch it from cattle belonging to farmers who don't want to spend money on the welfare of their animals? No chance of deer spreading TB? They are blamed for it in the US. Phixer

2:08pm Tue 10 Dec 13

smilealoft44 says...

aa
aa smilealoft44

2:11pm Tue 10 Dec 13

smilealoft44 says...

Thank goodness the badgers are being saved, The powers that be dont know the best thing to do but i am happy with this course of action.
Thank goodness the badgers are being saved, The powers that be dont know the best thing to do but i am happy with this course of action. smilealoft44

4:34pm Tue 10 Dec 13

we-shall-see says...

I applaud DWT for doing this and can only hope that if the cull gets rolled out in Dorset next year as it is proposed, that these poor creatures will not wander onto land where the cull is taking place :o(

Perhaps if farmers took more care of the health of their cattle, this disease would not be spreading to our beautiful wildlife, rather than the other way around …..
I applaud DWT for doing this and can only hope that if the cull gets rolled out in Dorset next year as it is proposed, that these poor creatures will not wander onto land where the cull is taking place :o( Perhaps if farmers took more care of the health of their cattle, this disease would not be spreading to our beautiful wildlife, rather than the other way around ….. we-shall-see

5:10pm Tue 10 Dec 13

Isosceles says...

Phixer says...More cruel than firing a shotgun, missing and injuring an animal?
The current activities don't use shotguns, they use rifles!
Phixer says...More cruel than firing a shotgun, missing and injuring an animal? The current activities don't use shotguns, they use rifles! Isosceles

1:58pm Wed 11 Dec 13

rogerout says...

isoceles-- The current activities stopped using Free shooting very early on-- they went to cage trapping, then blasting the trapped badger with a shotgun.
isoceles-- The current activities stopped using Free shooting very early on-- they went to cage trapping, then blasting the trapped badger with a shotgun. rogerout

11:12am Mon 16 Dec 13

CoastGuardJon says...

BAZMAN 2 wrote:
@ idontknowifitstrue . Don't know much at all really do you . Bovine TB is a disease of cattle spread by cattle that unfortunately gets picked up by badgers . The only answer appears to be to vaccinate cattle and badgers but the E U don't want our vaccinated meat .(Tough ) with our growing population we can use all the meat and dairy products the farming industry can provide and would probably still have to import to make up the deficit.
The disease known as "Bovine" TB was first isolated and identified in cattle, because sick cattle were being looked at closely, if anyone had been looking at the badgersbefore this, it would've been identified as Melus TB! To the much heralded vaccination project - what miracle vaccine is being used? Answer: the same BCG vaccine that was less than 60% effective in humans, and so discontinued. It sure as hell won't cure an infected badger, and could even trigger it to become a 'super-excretor'....
.................
[quote][p][bold]BAZMAN 2[/bold] wrote: @ idontknowifitstrue . Don't know much at all really do you . Bovine TB is a disease of cattle spread by cattle that unfortunately gets picked up by badgers . The only answer appears to be to vaccinate cattle and badgers but the E U don't want our vaccinated meat .(Tough ) with our growing population we can use all the meat and dairy products the farming industry can provide and would probably still have to import to make up the deficit.[/p][/quote]The disease known as "Bovine" TB was first isolated and identified in cattle, because sick cattle were being looked at closely, if anyone had been looking at the badgersbefore this, it would've been identified as Melus TB! To the much heralded vaccination project - what miracle vaccine is being used? Answer: the same BCG vaccine that was less than 60% effective in humans, and so discontinued. It sure as hell won't cure an infected badger, and could even trigger it to become a 'super-excretor'.... ................. CoastGuardJon

8:46am Tue 17 Dec 13

uvox44 says...

coastguard Jon - where on earth do you get your information from?!
Please tell me the logic of randomly killing badgers without even knowing if they carry BTB or not? There is a chance you could shoot all the healthy badgers and increase the percentage that carry the disease isn't there? Not bright but then this is a political decision to appeal to the shot first and manipulate the results to fit the science after brigade. It would be a joke if it wasn't for the loss of our wildlife.
coastguard Jon - where on earth do you get your information from?! Please tell me the logic of randomly killing badgers without even knowing if they carry BTB or not? There is a chance you could shoot all the healthy badgers and increase the percentage that carry the disease isn't there? Not bright but then this is a political decision to appeal to the shot first and manipulate the results to fit the science after brigade. It would be a joke if it wasn't for the loss of our wildlife. uvox44

9:13am Tue 17 Dec 13

uvox44 says...

From the start of this year, under pressure from the European Commission, the Government has forced farmers to tighten down on biosecurity controls, cattle movements and TB testing. As a result, there has been a steady decline in the rates of TB in cattle compared to the same period in 2012.

​cattle

Comparing the latest Defra figures from September 2012 to September 2013, there has been an overall drop of 5.9 per cent in new TB cases and a 9.5 per cent drop in the number of cattle slaughtered for TB.

Read more: http://www.westernda
ilypress.co.uk/TB-ca
ttle-slaughter-rates
-nearly-10-cent-2012
/story-20315460-deta
il/story.html#ixzz2n
intYMn6
From the start of this year, under pressure from the European Commission, the Government has forced farmers to tighten down on biosecurity controls, cattle movements and TB testing. As a result, there has been a steady decline in the rates of TB in cattle compared to the same period in 2012. ​cattle Comparing the latest Defra figures from September 2012 to September 2013, there has been an overall drop of 5.9 per cent in new TB cases and a 9.5 per cent drop in the number of cattle slaughtered for TB. Read more: http://www.westernda ilypress.co.uk/TB-ca ttle-slaughter-rates -nearly-10-cent-2012 /story-20315460-deta il/story.html#ixzz2n intYMn6 uvox44

9:54am Tue 17 Dec 13

1Morts says...

Hi Everyone,
A few thoughts:
Immunisation of British school children continued for over 50 years and was only discontinued in 2005 because it was no longer cost effective ie. it was no longer needed. It is correct to say that it was less than 60% effective but the herd immunity provided, along with other measures such as pasteurization of milk, stopped TB in it's tracks.
The dose given to badgers is stronger and over 70% effective (Animal Health and Vetenary Laboratory Agency figures) and during the 8 year trial at Woodchester has been shown to provide the same herd immunity achieved in humans.
Immunisation will not cure an infected badger but it does reduce the shedding of bTB bacilli and, with an average lifespan in the wild of only 3-5 years, infected badgers would soon be removed from the population.
Infected badgers, even in the "hotspot" areas are only 15-17% of the badger population which compares to 33-50% of the human population (WHO figures), mainly, of course, in "hotspot" areas.
The Woodchester trial has also shown that cubs of vaccinated mothers inherit over 70% immunity.
So, do we want to help farmers and reduce the incidence of bTB in badgers and cattle or do we want to continue jumping into foxholes and lobbing grenades of misinformation at each other. We have been culling badgers for 38 years and it doesn't work. Have we learnt nothing in 38 years?
Of course, if badgers were completely eradicated or completely cleared of bTB we would still be culling over 20,000 cattle each year.. That situation will only change when we start vaccinating cattle. The Government happily tell us that they spend £2million a year on research into vaccine for both badgers and cattle or, as I much prefer to put it, 2 months wages for Wayne Rooney. That is how much this government (and previous governments) really care about farmers and bTB .
Morts
Hi Everyone, A few thoughts: Immunisation of British school children continued for over 50 years and was only discontinued in 2005 because it was no longer cost effective ie. it was no longer needed. It is correct to say that it was less than 60% effective but the herd immunity provided, along with other measures such as pasteurization of milk, stopped TB in it's tracks. The dose given to badgers is stronger and over 70% effective (Animal Health and Vetenary Laboratory Agency figures) and during the 8 year trial at Woodchester has been shown to provide the same herd immunity achieved in humans. Immunisation will not cure an infected badger but it does reduce the shedding of bTB bacilli and, with an average lifespan in the wild of only 3-5 years, infected badgers would soon be removed from the population. Infected badgers, even in the "hotspot" areas are only 15-17% of the badger population which compares to 33-50% of the human population (WHO figures), mainly, of course, in "hotspot" areas. The Woodchester trial has also shown that cubs of vaccinated mothers inherit over 70% immunity. So, do we want to help farmers and reduce the incidence of bTB in badgers and cattle or do we want to continue jumping into foxholes and lobbing grenades of misinformation at each other. We have been culling badgers for 38 years and it doesn't work. Have we learnt nothing in 38 years? Of course, if badgers were completely eradicated or completely cleared of bTB we would still be culling over 20,000 cattle each year.. That situation will only change when we start vaccinating cattle. The Government happily tell us that they spend £2million a year on research into vaccine for both badgers and cattle or, as I much prefer to put it, 2 months wages for Wayne Rooney. That is how much this government (and previous governments) really care about farmers and bTB . Morts 1Morts

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