When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
Dorset Wildlife Trust to begin vaccinating badgers
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 are closed on this article.