Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has teamed up with the BMC to vaccinate badgers at Horseshoe Quarry as part of a project to use vaccination against bovine tuberculosis (TB) as an alternative to badger culling.
The Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is a leader in highlighting the role of badger vaccination - a programme which has received extensive support and media attention.
The Trust has been working with multiple partners in its first season of badger vaccination. Partners have included the National Farmers Union, the National Trust, Derbyshire County Council, Buxton Civic Association, private land owners and farmers and now the BMC.
This weekend the Trust carried out badger vaccinations at the BMC-owned site at Furness Quarry (Horseshoe) near Bakewell in the Peak District National Park.
“We are delighted to be now working with the BMC who have been very supportive of our badger vaccination programme and have invited us onto their land to vaccinate badgers. Vaccination is a real alternative to shooting badgers and we have been greatly encouraged by the response of partner organisations across Derbyshire who support badger vaccination and want to help us in this vital work.” said Tim Birch, conservation manager for Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.
Henry Folkard from the BMC stated “It has always been the aim of the British Mountaineering Council to look after the wildlife and biodiversity on our land. It is good to share the expertise of partnership organisations such as Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and do what we can to help them in their badger vaccination effort which we strongly support."
The badger vaccination program is going from strength to strength and the ability to humanely trap and successfully vaccinate badgers is improving all the time as the team’s experience builds. The highlight this weekend was successfully trapping and vaccinating a whole family of four badger cubs from one sett on the BMC site.
“Vaccinating badger cubs is vital as it ensures longer lasting immunity within the badger groups we are targeting. This is why we were delighted to have successfully trapped, vaccinated and released four cubs this weekend on BMC land at the sett we were targeting” said Debbie Bailey, lead vaccinator for Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.
According to scientific research, the culling of this otherwise protected animal could potentially lead to the bovine TB problem increasing as shooting may force the remaining badgers to scatter over a wider area.
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has welcomed the government’s recent announcement to assist with vaccination in the edge areas of Derbyshire (so defined by the government as areas where bovine TB is believed to be moving into) but is calling for a wider commitment and resources as well as a greater emphasis on controlling bovine TB in cattle as they believe badgers represent only a small part of the problem.
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust say they will continue to reach out to partners across Derbyshire to show that badger vaccination can be delivered effectively and efficiently.
Find out more on the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust website.
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