NEARLY £100,000 from Defra’s pot of money for badger vaccination is to be used to vaccinate badgers in Derbyshire, starting this month.
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust will receive £98,600 from Defra’s Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (BEVS) to vaccinate badgers against bovine TB over 26sq.km of farmland and National Trust land, in and around Edale and the Peak District National Park.
The Trust’s Badger Vaccination Programme is one of 13 Wildlife Trust-led vaccination schemes across England and Wales.
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust began vaccination badgers during 2014 following a successful public appeal to kick-start the programme, which raised over £54,000.
The programme is being developed in close partnership with the National Trust, the NFU, Derbyshire’s Badger Group and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).
The Trust said he partnership scheme was now worth an estimated £350,000, taking into account volunteer time on top of Defra’s award and public donations.
Tim Birch, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Head of Advocacy and Conservation Strategy, said: “We are delighted to receive funding from the Government to further develop our important work vaccinating badgers in Derbyshire.”
“We believe that badger vaccination is now being recognised as a very important tool for helping deal with the bovine TB crisis in cattle across England along with other important actions including the development of a cattle vaccine.”
Steve Trotter, The Wildlife Trusts’ director, England, said: “We work closely with the farming community, as well as being significant farmers and landowners in our own right, and are very conscious of the hardship that bTB causes.
“We are working in partnership with farmers, landowners and vets to demonstrate that vaccination schemes are a practical, cost-effective option for dealing with this disease in badgers, with 13 Wildlife Trust-led badger vaccination projects across England and Wales.
“There are other important routes where the disease can spread such as cattle-to-cattle transmission. So an ongoing key focus on cattle measures is also vital.”
Carl Hawke, National Trust’s wildlife and countryside Adviser said the Trust had employed a co-ordinator and recruited volunteers to work alongside Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s team ‘to ensure we vaccinate as many badgers as possible during the next four years’.
The Derbyshire wildlife charity is the latest organisation to announce finding from Defra’s pot to promote vaccination in the TB Edge Area.
In April, four estates in Cheshire announced they had joined forces to vaccinate badgers across 40 farms, using £165,000 from Defra’s badger vaccination scheme.
Vaccination is underway again in Wales in the third year of the Government funded badger vaccination in the Intensive Action Area of north Pembrokeshire.